Wednesday, March 19, 2014

`The Prize (8) "New Order of Oil"

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

In 1991 Saddam Hussein set fire to Kuwaiti oil fields.

The new challenge: The environmental challenge. Environment, war (human suffering).

Los Angeles is the city that oil made, and oil is the biggest business. Los Angeles is built on oil.

The Hydrocarbon Society, the center of it is the automobile. Americans drive two trillion miles a year, and have a love affair with driving.

Lod Cook, Chairman of Arco, the 8th largest oil company, runs a $18 billion business. Oil provides us mobility, independence and freedom.

California was just as influential as OPEC as far as environmental regulations were concerned.

We produce it, because there is public demand.

The circle has come around quickly. In the early 1990s oil-producing countries re-invited foreign companies to help develop undeveloped fields within their borders.

The spectre of oil shortage was banished, for the time being. The oil companies were the epitome of multinational operations.

The biggest of them all was Shell. But 2/3rd of the world’s oil reserves are in the Middle East.

Operation Desert Storm. Good thing, Saudi Arabia wasn’t attacked. Otherwise the world would’ve had three major oil-producing countries in the shadows of one man.

Oil is the blood of the 20th century. No one can imagine his life without oil. Oil power made this an American century. Japanese were fascinated with the American way of life.

The Japanese foresaw the 21st century as the Age of Information.

Instability of Russian oil industry. Political uncertainty delayed White Nights’ oil exploration in Siberia.

Poor Russian oil management resulted in reduced production and efficiency. Also environmental disaster, such as wasteland and waste waters, for example, for leaking pipelines.

In Baku 19th century equipment was still at work.

The tundra is environmentally sensitive.

The Hydrocarbon Society comes to a Siberian village. White Nights offered snowmobiles to the villagers.

Oil and gas will remain a major industry for at least 50 years, probably 100 years, hence (i.e., from early 1990s).

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

Ron Villejo, PhD

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