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From 50 Years Ago (25 November 2006)

exploration in the United States than on the Government would like to ensure that the FROM 50 YEARS AGO exploitation of the known petroleum deposits comparative paucity of means and technical of West Asia. The

FROM 50 YEARS AGO exploration in the United States than on the Government would like to ensure that the exploitation of the known petroleum deposits comparative paucity of means and technical of West Asia. The”fantastic” fact is that the know-how should not impel her to pave the cost of petroleum products the world over way for the establishment of another oil are based on the cost of oil production in imperialism in this country. the Gulf of Mexico rather than in the Persian India as one of the small producers of oil Gulf. is intimately concerned with the intricacies of

Vol VIII, No 47, November 24, 1956 All this is well known to experts and others. oil economics. Its output, at present, is 4 lakh

But the consumer in the less-developed coun-tons a year. India imports about 3.2 millionDelving into Oil Economics tries has not been aware so far of the iniquitous tons of crude oil, in addition, from the Arabian (Our Delhi Letter) stranglehold of big producers. Merelybecause countries, at a cost of Rs 30 crores. This

the nations of West Asia gave away oil explo- expenditure can be reduced considerably and

India is likely to take the initiative and inject ration rights to Anglo-American interests, steps directly if the import prices are related to the an economic fact of crucial importance into have been deliberately taken to retard oil production costs in the areas from which oil international politics. Hitherto it has kept out production in those regions. comes. The “artificial” inflation of oil prices of the dangerous sphere of oil diplomacy. India is vitally interested in fostering oil not only enables the producing companies to West Asia has more than three-fourths of the development in the East so that it may become cover their costs of exploration and exploiworld’s oil reserves and yet it produces less a more important source of oil than the West tation in America but also to swell their margin than a third of the oil output in the Americas. as it potentially is. This is not only a political of profits. Nearly 87 per cent of the oil con-The cost of bringing the black gold to surface necessity, though the assertion of freedom by sumed in Europe, excluding Russia, Rumania, in the Persian Gulf area is a tenth of the the nations of West Asia is intimately tied up Hungary and Yugoslavia, is supplied from comparable cost in the United States. Still with their oil economy. India has also to West Asia by four companies with almost much more money is being spent on oil decide its own oil exploration policy, and the equal British and American ownership.

Economic and Political Weekly November 25, 2006

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