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  • Since the mid 19th century, oil has fueled the industrial revolutions and economic developments

  • of nearly every country on earth. This slowly dwindling resource has also contributed to

  • some of the worst wars in modern history, and earns its suppliers billions upon billions

  • of dollars each year. When it comes to international power, control over oil can be just as important

  • as military or diplomatic strength. But the overwhelming majority of the world’s oil

  • is held by only a small handful of people. So just who exactly controls the world’s

  • oil?

  • Well, in terms of output, the top three oil producing countries are the United States,

  • Saudi Arabia and Russia. In 2014, the United States produced about 14 million barrels of

  • oil a day, with the Saudis and Russians trailing right behind. But, while the US is the largest

  • producer, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia stands as the world’s largest exporter. Most of

  • Asia relies on Saudi oil. Meanwhile, Europe relies on Russia, which provided nearly a

  • third of the continent's oil and natural gas in 2014.

  • But while these three countries contribute the most oil, they don’t actually control

  • it. Just twelve countries, primarily in the Middle East, North Africa, and South America,

  • hold about 80% of the world’s oil. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, or OPEC,

  • is the most powerful oil group on earth, and directly competes with the US, Russia, and

  • Canada for oil supremacy. OPEC is headed by Saudi Arabia, which alone holds the second

  • largest oil reserves.

  • Oil is a useful diplomatic tool, as well as an economic and political weapon. In 1973,

  • American involvement in Egypt and Syria’s war against Israel led OPEC to instigate an

  • embargo against the US and its allies. What became known as the ’73 Oil Crisis had devastating

  • consequences for the global economy. Petroleum prices skyrocketed, leading to gas shortages

  • across America and Europe.

  • Additionally, numerous wars since the 1930s have been described asoil wars”, with

  • countries initiating conflicts with oil rich nations in order to take control of the resource.

  • In particular, the 2003 illegal invasion of Iraq, led by the Bush Administration, has

  • been considered to be a prime example of this type of conflict. Multiple military leaders,

  • and even the Former Secretary of Defense, Chuck Hagel, have since revealed that oil

  • control was a dominating factor in the decision to invade. In fact, a study found that countries

  • with aggressive leaders and large oil reserves are two and half times more likely to see

  • military conflict.

  • Oil has made its producers a whole lot of money, while threatening to destabilize the

  • rest of the world. Although OPEC does seek balance among its members, it is also inherently

  • opposed to US oil, leading to further conflict and power struggles. One can only hope that

  • renewable energy eventually takes this volatile resource off the bargaining table entirely.

  • While many countries and entities are competing to have the most oil, as we mentioned the

  • resource is slowly dwindling. How much oil do we actually have left? Find out in this

  • video.

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  • you can keep up with new videos.

Since the mid 19th century, oil has fueled the industrial revolutions and economic developments


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B1 中級

誰控制了世界石油? (Who Controls The World's Oil?)

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    richardwang 發佈於 2021 年 01 月 14 日