Although “bringing democracy” to Iraq, Syria and Iran and “protecting the world from terrorists and WMD” have been the stated goals of the Bush Administration, it becomes more apparent that one of the main unstated goals is control of the Persian Gulf’s oil production — and thereby control of growing Asian economies such as those of China and India, as well as Japan and S. Korea, which now consume 90% of Middle Eastern oil exports. The use of oil embargoes to exert control over other nations’ policies can have disastrous effects, as did the embargo against Japan, dependent upon the United States for 80% of its oil in 1941, which led to war. From The Daily Star (Lebanon), a fast primer on the changing face of Mideast oil politics by Youssef F. Ibrahim of the Dubai-based Strategic Energy Investment Group. He previously served as senior Middle East correspondent for the New York Times and Energy Editor of the Wall Street Journal for 26 years.
Once upon a time there were four US oil companies that controlled the world of oil. Their names were Exxon, Mobil, Chevron and Texaco. The world of oil then was focused. These four found the oil, pumped it, and set its price to the world…Over the past 40 years, however, the world of oil has been turned upside down, and the rules have changed. The most important of these changes is that American oil companies no longer constitute the entirety of what we call “Big Oil.”
The other big change is that the US is no longer the most important client in need of oil. The new giant consumer of oil is China a burgeoning economic superpower and the fastest growing market on earth, with over a billion consumers. Then there is India, another major oil customer that is growing fast. In fact, statistics show that 90 percent of the oil produced from the Gulf region that includes Saudi Arabia, Iran, Kuwait, Qatar, the UAE, among others, is going to Asia, not America.