By Vaclav Smil

With out oil, there will be no globalisation, no plastic, little delivery, and an international political panorama that few might realize. during this eye-catching ebook Vaclav Smil explains all concerns regarding the 'black stuff', from its discovery within the earth, throughout to the political maelstrom that surrounds it this present day. full of interesting proof and perception, this e-book will supply readers with the technology and politics in the back of the world's such a lot debatable source.

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Iran’s score is roughly 45, Nigeria’s and Venezuela’s about 50, and Mexico’s 55, in contrast, the top achievers, Japan and Norway, score 25. Rankings by the political freedom index put five Persian Gulf oil producers (Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, UAE, Qatar, Oman) as well as Libya and Algeria into the bottom, not free, category and Kuwait, Nigeria and Venezuela into the lower ranks of the partly free group. Another revealing set of comparisons concerns corruption. 8). 4. 5. 3 (see figure 6). The evidence is clear: modernizing oil-rich countries in general, and the Middle Eastern nations in particular, have not used their considerable wealth to build truly more modern, more equitable and less corrupt societies with a higher quality of life.

5–2 Mbpd) spare capacity, charges repeatedly denied by Aramco’s management. Indeed, an aggressive expansion and investment program is now underway, aimed at raising the production capacity (oil and NGL) from 11 Mbpd in 2006 to 12 Mbpd by 2009. The National Iranian Oil Corporation controls about 10% of global oil reserves but is managing a modern industry in a country whose laws now forbid any direct foreign equity or production concessions. NIOC can thus only award contracts that guarantee a share of eventual production from a field developed with foreign investment.

Qxp 1/10/2008 4:28 PM Page 40 40 Oil: A Beginner’s Guide (bombing a Pan Am flight in 1988, supporting terrorist movements abroad, developing nuclear weapons) this did not change its strongman regime and it remains uncertain how far this new-found moderation will go. In Indonesia the major worry is no longer pervasive corruption but the degree to which this most populous Muslim nation will embrace a more fundamentalist form of its faith. The rest of this section could be filled with a recounting of recent concerns about Russia’s authoritarian trends whose consequences have ranged from de facto re-nationalization of oil companies to the suppression of the independent media.

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