Crude Power: Politics and the Oil Market

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I.B.Tauris, May 30, 2006 - Business & Economics - 288 pages
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Most people in the world today believe Bush's war against Saddam Hussein is only about oil. Iraq has the second biggest petroleum reserves in the Middle East, and America's relations with its prime supplier Saudi Arabia have turned sour in the wake of 9/11. Invading Iraq, so many argue, is merely colonising an oil field. Oil has transformed the world and remains the most important resource of our age. It has made the wealth of millions of people - from Venezuela to Norway via the Persian Gulf - and holds their futures in its fortunes. The Middle East is the earth's greatest petroleum depot. It is also the most explosive region in the world today. Now more than ever, with the global economy under severe threat, oil is of prime geopolitical concern. Crude Power provides a comprehensive analysis both of the world's dependency on Middle Eastern oil, and of the very dangerous way politics and economics play themselves out in the oil game - as producers and consumers tug at each others' interests. It is a tug of war: Oystein Noreng explains what all concerned are fighting for. Placing OPEC (the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries) into its wider world context, he examines in detail how shifting oil prices affect everything from international trade balances to inflation rates. In the current political climate of the Middle East and Central Asia, with anti-Americanism and the threat of terrorism in such countries as Saudi Arabia running high, oil holds the future of the world economy as well as thousands of lives in its hands.

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Page xiii - Iraq both poses a continuing threat to the national security of the United States and international peace and security in the Persian Gulf region and remains in material and unacceptable breach of its international obligations...
Page xiii - History will judge harshly those who saw this coming danger but failed to act. In the new world we have entered, the only path to peace and security is the path of action.
Page xliv - The Real Reasons for the Upcoming War With Iraq: A Macroeconomic and Geostrategic Analysis of the Unspoken Truth" (Independent Media Center), available at Cohen, Benjamin J. (1998), The Geography of Money, Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press. (2003a), The Future of Money, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. (2003b), "Global Currency Rivalry: Can the Euro Ever Challenge the Dollar...
Page xliv - Ron Suskind, The Price of Loyalty (New York: Simon and Schuster, 2004), chapter 6, especially p.

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About the author (2006)

Oystein Noreng is Professor of Petroleum Economics and Management at BI Norwegian School of Management, and teaches oil supplies and Middle Eastern politics both there and at the Institut Francais de Petrole and the Ecole Superieure de Commerce de Paris.

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