Friday, March 7, 2014

`The Prize (3) "Black Giant"

The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil, Money, and Power is Daniel Yergin's history of the global oil industry from the 1850s through 1990. The Prize became a bestseller owing to its release date: it was published in October 1990, two months after the invasion of Kuwait ordered by Saddam Hussein and three months before the U.S.-led coalition began the Gulf War to oust Iraqi troops from that country.  It eventually went on to win the Pulitzer Prize. 
The Prize has been called the "definitive" history of the oil industry, even a "bible".
My notes

Calouste Gulbenkian saw himself as the key to Middle East oil.  The Turkish Empire controlled the Middle East in 1914. 

Mr. Gulbenkian became known as Mr. 5%, also Gold Shilling Gentleman, amid the international fight for oil concessions.  He said, It’s always better to get a small slice of a big cake, than a big slice of a small cake.

Gulbenkian was obsessive-compulsive about his daily routine and schedule.  He was attracted to all things beautiful, from women and paintings, to nature.

Walter “Boss” Teagle became the first organization man in the oil business.

Gulbenkian fought to carve out 5% not just with Iraqi oil (Mesopotamia) but also with all of the Middle East. 

Redline Agreement, the underlining driver of which was the fear among Americans of pending shortage of oil.  This was a century ago (rf. our era of abundance now). 

Henry Ford’s 10th million car was built in 1924. 

Gasoline was cheap.  It is health, it is comfort, it is success.  The magic of gasoline was the miracle of mobility.  Gasoline stations became the secular temples for Americans on the road.

More people were producing more oil than ever before.  The real issue was the ever increasing supply. 

CM “Dad” Joiner had a gusher:  45 x 10 miles in area. 

Oil prices dropped to 10¢… 6¢... 2¢ a barrel, and it was a big threat to both independents and majors alike.

The excess of oil became a central obsession.  It touched the lives of all Americans, no matter how poor. 

Thank you for reading, and let me know what you think!

Ron Villejo, PhD

1 comment:

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