A Prelude to the Foundation of Political Economy: Oil, War, by Cyrus Bina (auth.)

By Cyrus Bina (auth.)

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The prolonged condition of oversupply that had been created principally by Saudi Arabia’s overproduction, and that has, once again, resulted in the restructuring of global production in the oil industry, seems to be the leading cause of this massive elimination of the high-cost producers within the US. This, of course, was not despite the US foreign policy in the region but because of it. The Saudi’s move, while economically self-injurious and irrational, was probably motivated by bolstering Saddam Hussein’s position against Iran in the ongoing Iran-Iraq war, which was parallel with the de facto US policy by the Reagan administration, namely, nipping the new Iranian regime in the bud when the conditions were still in flux.

6). The oil crisis of 1973–74 is thus seen to result from the direct political action of OPEC. For instance, Tanzer argues: “As a result of the Arab oil embargo in late 1973, the OPEC countries effectively took over the ownership of their crude oil reserves and oil pricing, while the companies became primarily suppliers of technology and 24 Fou n dat ion of P ol i t ic a l E c onom y markets” (1980: 110). These changes seem to be at a phenomenal level, even entirely arbitrary in nature, if one does not accept the arguments advanced by the dependency theorists.

The primary requirement for the globalization of oil, of course, was also dependent upon the breaking free of the Middle Eastern (and African and Latin American) oil from the jaws of the antiquated, semicolonial oil concessions under the now defunct IPC; hence the antagonism by the oil-producing countries and insistence by the cartel in stretching the limits of the semicolonial oil order. The point of contention was primarily the oil rent, albeit beneath the guise of “equity participation,” joint ventures, and so on, which was eventually increased based on differential productivity of oil across the globe.

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