8 thoughts on “Saudi crown prince’s oil business failure

  1. On February 6, 1944, the US government’s Petroleum Reserve Corporation, set up by President Franklin Roosevelt, unveiled its plans to construct a vast pipeline across Saudi Arabia to transport crude oil from the Arabian wells owned by Standard Oil, Gulf and Texaco to Mediterranean ports and refineries.

    With growing assurance that Allied imperialism had successfully defended Middle East oil resources from a militar y assault b y Mussolini and Hitler, the US sought exclusive control over Saudi Arabian oil against any encroachments by the British. Roosevelt had used Lend Lease, which was only to be made available to countries actively fighting the war against the Axis, to outbid Britain in buying off King Ibn Saud. As Roosevelt told the British ambassador, “Persian oil is yours. We share the oil of Iraq and Kuwait. As for Saudi Arabian oil, it’s ours.”

    The Roosevelt administration accompanied its move into Saudi Arabia with a public campaign about the benefits of cheaper prices after the war and the threat of oil shortages if the project was not carried out. One news commentator nevertheless remarked, “To go into a colonial country and buy oil concessions by favors to desert sheiks, to embark on a long-range program for the exploitation of natural resources which belong to another people, is imperialism, however we choose to disguise it.”

    In 1940, the United States produced 63 percent of the world’s oil supply, while Iran, Iraq and Saudi Arabia jointly contributed only 5 percent. But exploration had shown that the Middle East contained rich reserves which, if not secured by the US, would threaten the dominant position of the US oil barons in world markets.

    A year later, Roosevelt would meet with King Abdul-Aziz aboard a US warship near Suez and sign a secret agreement for the postwar period, exchanging US military protection for Saudi Arabia for unrestricted US access to Saudi oil.

    https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2019/02/04/twih-f04.html

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