The Oil States - Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and Kuwait

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The Oil States - Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and Kuwait

Crude oil is a staple in modern society. Crude oil is an extremely efficient energy source giving out about 100x the energy it takes to garner it. Hence, for the century, man has been extremely dependant on petroleum using it primarily to fuel means of transportation. As a result, wars and various conflicts have been waged over control of oil fields in the Middle East. The United States, being the largest consumer of oil in the world is tightly tied to the economics of the Middle East. AS of 2006, 17% of America’s oil came from imports from countries in the Middle East (28). As previously stated, America should work to become energy independent from the Middle East so that we don’t have to factor ourselves into the peace issue.

Energy independence will allow America to be more flexible to the constantly changing region. Recently, President Bush traveled to the Middle East to observe the war in Iraq, the situation in Israel, and talk to the Saudi’s about oil prices. In a quotation from a CNN article, Mr. Bush exclaimed (26):

"Oil prices are very high, which is tough on our economy. I would hope, as OPEC considers different production levels, that they understand that if ... one of their biggest consumers' economy suffers, it will mean less purchases, less gas and oil sold.”

This bold statement by the president shows how important control of oil in the Middle East is. However, only 17% of oil consumed in the U.S. comes from the Persian Gulf states. The question then becomes: why is the U.S. so keen on having sway over countries with oil in the Middle East? The answer is that about 30% of Europe’s oil consumption comes from oil reserves in the Middle East while 80% of oil onsumed in Japan comes from the gulf states (27). America has considerable influence in the gulf states as to who oil is sold because of its weapon sales and its current occupation of Iraq. Another reason is that over the last 10 years, the percent of oil used in America from the Middle East has increased by 7 % and is predicted to grow every year as domestic oil production declines.

The most recent war in Iraq has freed up U.N. sanctions that were on the country so now 3.5% of America’s oil comes from Iraq while 1.

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