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Access to Energy

Access to Energy: 2000 and After

Copyright Date: 1979
Pages: 144
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  • Book Info
    Access to Energy
    Book Description:

    Conant explores how the transformation of oil from a commercial commodity to a strategic raw material have changed the face of world energy politics. In an increasingly interdependent world, Conant questions the right of any nation to withold vital supplies from other countries.

    eISBN: 978-0-8131-5871-6
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Preface
    (pp. ix-x)
  4. Introduction
    (pp. 1-5)

    OIL is featured in this volume because of its prominence among the primary energy fuels and because of its unequaled importance in world energy trade. It is emphasized also because the history of the rise of international oil to its present position of importance offers insight into both current access and other energy commodities of potential significance. Oil has been transformed from a commercial commodity traded by private international oil companies (the “Seven Sisters”*) into a strategic raw material, the access to which is now determined by sovereign governments; the same political factors presently involved in access to oil may...

  5. 1 The Nature of the Crisis: Energy Supply/Demand, 1977-2000
    (pp. 6-26)

    BECAUSE of accidents of geology, the greater part of oil discovered and produced now lies outside the sovereignty of the industrial nations. What makes access to oil so critical a concern is the general dependence of most nations uponimportedoil; with comparatively few exceptions, even those states possessing substantial oil reserves of their own (the United States, Great Britain, Norway, and perhaps Canada and the USSR in the years ahead) will be vitally dependent on oil placed in international trade by the producing-exporting countries chiefly in the Middle East. It is unlikely that the prominence of the region as...

  6. 2 The Concession System & the Oil Host Governments
    (pp. 27-54)

    OIL PRICES and production levels—the two basic conditions affecting supply—are now less dependent on economic factors than are other commodities and have become increasingly politicized. Why this has happened requires a brief review of the concession system, how it evolved, and how oil price and production decisions were made during the early years of the international oil industry when much of the oil in world trade was produced from colonies or territories controlled or greatly influenced by Britain, France, and the United States.

    We are reminded daily how the legacy of this experience still influences current oil discussions...

  7. 3 The Challenge of Change: The Oil Importer & Oil Exporter Response
    (pp. 55-75)

    THE ECONOMIC dislocations caused by the unprecedented OPEC oil-price increases of 1973-1974 initiated a new era in international economic affairs. With OPEC’s success in the “opening stage of a struggle for a new world order, a search for positions of strength in a global realignment, in which the weapons (backed, naturally, by the ultimate sanction of force) were food and fuel.”¹ the “crisis of interdependence”² had begun. Henceforth, intergovernmental political objectives would be inextricably mixed with the economic. In order to appreciate how complex these aspects have become, we need to remind ourselves of the various energy-related initiatives taken in...

  8. 4 The Future of the International Oil Industry
    (pp. 76-84)

    THE evolving relationships between the international oil industry and the governments of the oil-consuming and oil-producing states could be of fundamental consequence to those people who seek to assess the future of international energy supply. It was the integrated operations of the oil majors that created the international oil system which moves a billion barrels of oil every day from one location to another—an extraordinary accomplishment. The efficiency of the system is an essential ingredient in assured supply.

    During the first half of the twentieth century, the close coincidence of interests between the major international oil companies (IOC) and...

  9. 5 Nuclear Energy: To 2000 and Beyond
    (pp. 85-101)
    Charles K. Ebinger

    ONE of the major consequences of both the 1973-1974 OAPEC oil embargo and the escalation in world petroleum prices was the growing recognition by all oil-importing countries of the need to reduce the level of their dependence on high-priced supply-disruptable oil. The use of nuclear power appeared to be an attractive option both because the theoretical technology was well proved and because a great deal of scientific work and practical experience had been accumulated. Four years after the embargo, however, the enthusiasm for the timely development of nuclear power has waned. Instead, the debate over the future of nuclear power...

  10. 6 Ocean Frontiers of Energy
    (pp. 102-114)
    Christa G. Conant

    THE period of time from the present until the year 2000 has been described as marking the transition between energy generated by the nonrenewable sources—coal, oil, gas, and uranium—and energy created by plutonium or other fuel cycles, which extend almost limitlessly the sources of nuclear fission. Even if, for reasons of weapons proliferation or other technological advances, these cycles are largely forgone (perhaps to be replaced by other less-volatile fissile materials, such as thorium), we shall still be moving toward the time when access to energy will no longer be a problem for all societies.

    A cardinal error...

  11. Conclusion
    (pp. 115-122)

    FROM the outset of this inquiry into access to energy, my basic assumption is that until well into the next century the great energy-consuming nations of the world will continue to depend upon the importation of energy, excepting perhaps only the Soviet Union. Most countries simply do not have adequate indigenous supplies of oil, gas, and uranium ore. For a favored few, such as the United States, Canada, and the Soviet Union, coal in its direct fuel state or in modified form may prove to be (once more) an exceptionally bountiful resource. But for other fossil fuels, inadequate domestic...

  12. Notes
    (pp. 123-128)
  13. Index
    (pp. 129-136)