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Concept.png Oil  Sourcewatch
The commodity which occupies a uniquely defining role in 20th and 21st century geopolitics due to its commanding importance for all modern military and commercial ventures.

Official narrative

A recommended video by James Corbett

It's black, sticky, goes in cars. Nothing to see here, move along...

Geographical distribution

The Persian Gulf region of the Middle East has a much larger proportion of the conventionally available petroleum that anywhere else in the world. Other countries with large reserves (such as Libya) have also been targeted by the US in a bid to maintain supplies.

Historical importance

As warfare and business were increasingly mechanised, the importance of oil as the most convenient fossil fuel was quickly apparent.

After WW2, the leaders of Saudi Arabia reached agreement with the US government to maintain supply to the US in return for support staying in power.[1]

Recent developments

Technology has more or less failed to come up with a replacement for petroleum.


Full article: Stub class article Fracking

Hydraulic fracturing, or 'fracking', is touted as a way of increasing accessible reserves, but in practice involves some risk of earthquakes and more importantly, has a track record of poisoning the groundwater rendering it undrinkable. It is banned outright in several countries, and would not be legal without the Cheney Loophole, a provision Dick Cheney inserted into the the Federal Energy Policy Act of 2005 to circumvent the Safe Drinking Water Act by exempting fracking fluids.[2][3]

Tar Sands

Tar Sands, rebranded 'oil sands' by the public relations industry, are semi-liquid forms of rock with a high petroleum content. On paper, these vastly increase supply of oil, but since the energy return rate on extraction is very low (perhaps 1:3 instead of 1:20 or 1:100 for conventional oil), the extraction process is extremely damaging to the environment.  

Related Documents

TitleTypePublication dateAuthor(s)Description
The Geo-Politics of the Strait of Hormuzwebpage8 January 2012Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya
File:Timor-oil.pdfletter2001Ramiro V. PazThe Timor Gap Treaty versus an East Timor Exclusive Economic Zone: Economic Independence for East Timor

Related Quotation

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Midge Decter“We're not in the Middle East to bring sweetness and light to the world. We're there to get something we and our friends in Europe depend on. Namely, oil.”Midge Decter21 May 2004


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