Control Oil - Rule the World!

16 Pages Posted: 16 Jan 2013

See all articles by Surbhi Arora

Surbhi Arora


Anshuman Gupta

University of Petroleum & Energy Studies, Dehradun

Date Written: January 15, 2013


‘If you want to rule the world you need to control the oil. All the oil. Anywhere.’ Michel Collon, Monopoly Iraq, Iran, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia have more proven oil reserves than the rest of the world combined. This Black diamond (Crude Oil) is the world's most important commodity due to the development and dependence on energy of all humans in the world. The importance of Crude Oil to modern industrial society grew rapidly with the proliferation of automobiles in the early 1900s. But the turning point for Oil's importance was the First World War. By switching the British navy from coal to oil, British Secretary of the Navy Winston Churchill gave Britain and its allies a crucial advantage over their enemies. After the Allied victory, British foreign secretary Lord Curzon stated, 'The Allies floated to victory on a wave of oil'.

After the war, oil production shifted from Texas, USA & the Caribbean basin to the Middle East, where vast oil reserves were discovered. The once allies - France, Britain, and the U.S. became competitors to have the greatest prize of the century. Britain emerged initially as the best-placed contender as it already had control of all of Iran's oil. The U.S. government worked hard to gain a foothold for U.S. oil companies in the region. The Second World War tipped the balance in the race for oil completely in the favor of the U.S. Europe was devastated and Germany was destroyed. France and Great Britain, the major imperial powers, emerged much weaker from the war, while the U.S. emerged relatively unscathed and controlling over half the world's industrial output. This helped the US claim the status of the dominant power in the West, while France and Britain became its junior partners in the past.

Currently it is a fact that many of the world's leading oil producing countries are either politically unstable or are at serious odds with the U.S.A. In the past, a country's military was the sole arbiter of her strength, but today it is the economy that has become nearly as important and all industrial economies and militaries both run on oil and gas. The current world financial turmoil has created more insecurities than ever before. This paper focuses on the current geopolitical issues underlying the oil supply in the world. The US and China desire those resources to fuel their power plants, factories, automobiles, aircraft, and armored vehicles. Iran and Russia want the pipelines to go through their territory in order to claim transit fees and use the resources as political tools. The recent political development in Iraq, Libya, Egypt, Yemen and other small Arab nations has given another twist to the old geo-politics in the region. This paper would analyze the factors that make and break international relations between countries with regard to oil supply. In this context, the focus of this paper would be to analyze the position of India vis-à-vis the changing scenario in the geopolitics of the world.

Purpose – To analyze the factors that makes and break international relations between countries with regard to oil supply.

Design/methodology/approach – Secondary data in the form of Literature review is to be studied.

Keywords: oil, reserves, geopolitics, international relations, war

JEL Classification: B25, D63, N50, N70, O50, Q4

Suggested Citation

Arora, Surbhi and Gupta, Anshuman, Control Oil - Rule the World! (January 15, 2013). Available at SSRN: or

Anshuman Gupta

University of Petroleum & Energy Studies, Dehradun ( email )

Energy Acres
P.O. Bidholi via Premnagar,
Dehradun, 248007

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