Volume 2 Chapter 1

It is impossible to understand the present without reference to the past. In this chapter, we will present a global overview of the history of the oil industry. Whilst Gas is inextricably linked with oil, it is an understanding of the history of the development of the oil industry that is most significant and essential to appreciate why global and European energy policy has developed since the First World War until now. The chapter will start with the development of oil geopolitics by Winston Churchill and all the consequences of British rule in the Middle East. We will see the influence that this had during the First World War that still have consequences even today for the EU. The energy dimension of the Versailles Treaty and the energy situation during the Second World War explain why today we have an energy policy in the EU. However, much more significant now is the influence of the USA in the Middle East thanks to the Quincy Agreement, which will be analysed here and its consequences will be considered in many of the following chapters. The Oil Crises of the 1970s are closely analysed because they have set the context for the development of energy policy over the last forty years.