Geopolitics of global oil and gas markets

Oil remains the consummate geostrategic resource, traded in a single currency in highly integrated "one global barrel" spot and futures markets. It fuels ca. 94% of all transport, and is widely forecast to remain the world's main source of energy, at least to 2040 (e.g., IEA). Its daily supply is an existential security issue for all states.

The focus of this seminar is to uncover - theoretically, and historically via case-studies - connections and constraints between the political-economy of oil and its role in geopolitics. These have co-evolve, in stages, from the late-neocolonial period, which had no market and was dominated by seven private major firms, through a transition period of intense "North-South" confrontations, the OPEC nationalizations and world "energy crises" (1970's-to-mid-80's), to today's unified, open-market-centered, collective global oil-security system, with the USA and Saudi Arabia playing predominant roles.

This course is for 2nd year MIA and MPP students only.