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A Crude Awakening To A Ceaseless Dependency In Oil

830 words - 4 pages

Crude oil: Seeps into the minds of investors whilst increasingly fueling the deadly dependency within them. Crude oil: Cheap in cost, yet costly in terms of wars fought, lives lost, and societal social and economic dislocations created. Crude oil: the penned “Black Gold” that we seek to posses. What once started out as a newly conventional commodity has now become a diminishing support system for all. It “creates the illusion of a completely changed life, life without work, life for free. It “is a resource that anaesthetizes thought, blurs vision, corrupts.” But with its addictive attributes and strategic leverages, it depicts the qualities of a Siren in an open sea. And we are the ...view middle of the document...

World War I would lead to this revolution in the role of petroleum.
From kerosene lamps used to see in the dark to oil-powered ships used to fight in wars, World War I irrevocably changed the role of petroleum in the world. When the war began, horses were seen as the primary modes of transportation. Military planning assumed that one horse was needed for every three soldiers, which evoked a logistical setback since the horses needed ten times as much food. Available oil began to provide a critical advantage that transformed how nations regarded this natural resource. Earlier, oil was seen as a commodity brought to the market by a few entrepreneurs; after WWI, it was viewed as a strategic mineral for which reliable purchases had to be ensured.
The shift in oil usage initiated the dependency we have for it. The one controlling and/or manipulating the supply of oil acts like the voice of the Siren, luring in investors. After the war, one of the priorities of both Britain and France was to ensure their access to oil, predominantly in Mesopotamia, where oil had been discovered in 1908. However, until the 1940s, the United States was the world's leader in oil production, producing 65 percent of the world's total oil production. In 1940, the Middle East produced less than 5 percent of total production. Conversely, this shifted dramatically with the discovery of "supergiant" oil fields in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia in the 1930s and 1940s....

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