Chapter 1: Historical perspectives on the global petroleum economy
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Stretching over 150 years, the global petroleum industry commenced in small town USA, developing into a multi-trillion, multijurisdictional, international industry, with the power to drive wars, strategic alliances, and national agendas. This chapter provides a historical perspective on the oil and gas industry. Not confined to examining the historical development from a strictly chronological approach, this chapter places these developments within an economic context, examining drivers of, and consequences from, the emergence and spread of the petroleum industry. It especially focuses on the role and importance of the Middle East region from the middle of the 20th century, and its continued importance in US foreign policy today.