All change: the Unfolding Geopolitics of Oil and Gas in the US and the Middle East

The geopolitics of oil has remained remarkably static for the last 40 years since the Iranian Revolution at the end of the 1970s. The sytlized facts have been that the US would have to import ever more oil to meet its ever growing demand, and that the Middle East would increase its domicance. Tp meet this demand, the US remainded committed to keeping the Gulf open, and to support Saudi Arabia as its key ally against the pariah state of Iran.

The established order relied on three related key features: the paramount role of Middle Eastern oil for the west; and the fault lines between Sunni Saudi Arabia and Shiite Iran; and the Iranian-US hostility. 

Though the consequences will take decades to work out, it is already apparent that after more than 30 years this order is undergoing profound changes.

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