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What are "American oil interests" in the middle east?

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DiscoveryJoy
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There seems to be this mainstream idea, that - for better or for worse - America has certain oil interests in the middle east, and that the more American companies are in control of the oil fields, the better for America. That in order to maximize its flourishing, America must "secure the oil fields".

Movies or TV shows like "24" commonly capitalize on this idea people generally accept. So they feature some US government conspiracy that manufactures a pretext (a false-flag Islamist terror attack on US soil, or some weapons of mass destruction smuggled into the hands of some dangerous middle eastern nations) for a strong US military presence in the middle east, with the goal of ultimately "securing the oil fields", and then divvying them up to almost exclusively American oil companies. With these US government conspirators considering themselves "patriots", because this way they're "securing American energy security for centuries to come".

I don't even get this in theory.

Any oil producing company - American or not - in its own self-interest, should be selling to anyone in the world who buys, at market price.

So even if none of the oil companies in the middle east where American, Americans should still be getting all the same oil for the same price. And even if all of the oil companies in that region where American, they'd still be selling to everyone else just as readily, and for the same market price, as to Americans. There's no reason why an American oil company should be interested in selling, or selling cheaper, only to Americans. Or a non-American one only selling, or selling cheaper, only to the non-American citizens of its origin.

So what would even be the advantage about the oil fields being dominated by American companies? Why should any American - except for perhaps the American oil companies themselves - actually care?

I know that American car drivers are paying much less than half of what Europeans are paying per gallon of gasoline, and close to the lowest prices in the world: https://www.statista.com/statistics/221368/gas-prices-around-the-world/

But that seems to be mainly due to government policy rather than world market dominance of American oil companies: https://money.cnn.com/pf/features/lists/global_gasprices/

So what am I missing?

Edited by DiscoveryJoy
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Most of the early oil fields in the middle east were initially developed by people (Americans and others) prior to being nationalized. A quick google search places an initial year of 1951. When nothing was done, other nationalization took place soon there after.

This and instabilities in the region contribute to a view that the sandbox need to be chaperoned. The gist of what you lay out makes me think of a leaning toward having America appoint itself to serve as a policeman in the area.

(What I highlighted is not directed toward the gas price discrepancy.)

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Don't know what you mean by "sandbox needs to be chaperoned".

So you think, the rationale would be "let's take them over to ensure maximum productivity, before somebody destroys that productivity through nationalization"?

Is there any evidence of a significant increase in oil price that took place through those nationalizations? usually, it's just the government taking over a certain percentage of the profit as a concession. If you can straightaway use that percentage as a price increase for everyone who buys the oil, is not clear to me.

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The ball was dropped when the nationalization initially took place. The sandbox is something I've heard the middle eastern deserts referred to. 

Both European and American interests were allowed to be trodden upon. The residual sentiment is carried over from this and the attacks on the US in 2001 have been packaged in with it to sell the energy security identified in the OP.

While 2001 was only 20+ years ago, the 1950's are 70+. Going back now to restore ownership is a little late, and to forcibly take ownership for "securing American energy security" while offshore drilling and building nuclear power plants are verboten to the mother earth crowd.

I can't really speak much to the price issue other than to allude back to European regulations brought up in the OP as a likely contributor to the higher prices across the pond.

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21 hours ago, dream_weaver said:

Both European and American interests were allowed to be trodden upon. The residual sentiment is carried over from this and the attacks on the US in 2001 have been packaged in with it to sell the energy security identified in the OP.

Well, by that notion alone, you have obviously already adopted the very narrative that I'm questioning in my OP. The notion of "American interests" being served by American ownership of (i.e. American companies owning) the oil fields.

So why is that? Surely, you must have your reasons for holding those beliefs.

Are you merely referring to the interests of American oil companies earning a revenue here, or do you actually believe that them owning the oil fields is also good for Americans at large? If the latter also holds, then why? What is behind your beliefs?

Edited by DiscoveryJoy
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America and England may have gone into the area and secured the respective interests back in the 1950s when the fruits of their labors were nationalized.

Since the principles involved (individuals, not corporate entities) are either deceased or retired, how is a foreign government going in and seizing the reigns at this point and using "energy security" as a rationalization going to come across? I think it would be an easier sell than claiming restitution for the victims of the initial violation. If the Soviet Union or China, in turn, came in after such a coup and did the same for their "energy security", it quickly devolves to a might makes right scenario. 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 1/19/2022 at 3:46 AM, dream_weaver said:

America and England may have gone into the area and secured the respective interests back in the 1950s when the fruits of their labors were nationalized.

Since the principles involved (individuals, not corporate entities) are either deceased or retired, how is a foreign government going in and seizing the reigns at this point and using "energy security" as a rationalization going to come across? I think it would be an easier sell than claiming restitution for the victims of the initial violation. If the Soviet Union or China, in turn, came in after such a coup and did the same for their "energy security", it quickly devolves to a might makes right scenario. 

Again, why would "energy security" be any sell at all? Regardless of whether it's an "easier sell" than claiming restitution for the victims of the initial violation. You seem to agree with elements of that rationalization, believing that it is an "easier sell"? Why?

The notion of "energy security" somehow suggests that more Americans end up consuming more oil if only the fields are owned by Shell & Co. Why would that be? Why do you agree with that?

This seems to be the narrative of self-proclaimed "patriots" in TV Shows like "24", who believe that creating a pretext for war in the middle east is the way to go in securing the cheap, reliable and plentiful flow of oil to America.

Or perhaps, is there any proof that otherwise, the oil fields would be exploited by nobody at all? Or exploited inefficiently, because too expensive to operate (government-owned)? Driving up oil costs for Americans? Any such analysis out there?

Edited by DiscoveryJoy
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Alex Epstein may have something on costs in some of his materials. He started with a moral case for fossil fuels. 

If resources were truly limited to the point of concern, it would make sense to buy Middle East oil til it ran out preserving American reserves for drawing upon at that time.

For most resources, man's mind discovers a use for them and goes about developing more efficient means of extracting what is needed in larger quantities.

Could it be at the root of this energy security concern is more or less a bunch of misinformation and misdirection?

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1 hour ago, dream_weaver said:

Alex Epstein may have something on costs in some of his materials. He started with a moral case for fossil fuels. 

If resources were truly limited to the point of concern, it would make sense to buy Middle East oil til it ran out preserving American reserves for drawing upon at that time.

For most resources, man's mind discovers a use for them and goes about developing more efficient means of extracting what is needed in larger quantities.

My question is not, if buying oil makes more sense than buying another energy source (which is what Alex Epstein's content would be about). My question rests on the assumption that oil is currently an irreplacable energy source known to us.

And my question is also not about if it makes sense to buy oil that comes from the Middle East. But why it would make more sense to buy Middle East oil produced by American companies, instead of simply buying any Middle East oil produced by any company, whether American or not. What makes the Middle East oil better for Americans just because it was produced by an American company? Is there an assumption that American companies would treat Americans as privileged customers?

1 hour ago, dream_weaver said:

Could it be at the root of this energy security concern is more or less a bunch of misinformation and misdirection?

 

What I suspect is that some politicians, after American oil companies have seized the oil fields, would like to control American oil companies through government subsidies etc., to direct them in selling and transporting the oil primarily to America at a preferable prize. So they can give themselves some unearned credit, telling themselves that they have "secured American interests". In a similar way that state chartered companies used to work as utilitarian government entities abroad to provide the home country with resources from foreign lands.

Or my aforementioned assumption in this post, that people believe an American company would treat American customers with privilege, out of some sense of belonging and hence obligation.

 

Since you still haven't told me why you appear to be adopting the view that American interests would be served through American ownership of oil fields, I have to assume that you don't seriously share such beliefs.

Edited by DiscoveryJoy
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16 minutes ago, dream_weaver said:

Under a capitalist approach, the ownership would go to the best products made the most economically, American-owned or otherwise. 

Well, that's merely a true statement to me. So how do you relate that to the OP's "American Mideast oil interests" narrative?

Do you think that American companies are the most economic in a capitalist approach, but since Middle East governments are just unproductively sitting on those oil reserves, forcing them to hand them over to American oil companies would come closest to the most productive outcome? Because the alternative would be no or very limited oil production?

Edited by DiscoveryJoy
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I contended that the case for retaliatory force was set in the 1950's and that it should have been done then. Acting on this premise 70 years later seems more a case of the sin's of the fathers being used as rationalization by the children of the transgressed.

The fact that lands are held by unproductive hands is not a case for commandeering lands either, regardless of what natural resources such lands may possess.

 

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On 1/30/2022 at 6:06 PM, dream_weaver said:

I contended that the case for retaliatory force was set in the 1950's and that it should have been done then. Acting on this premise 70 years later seems more a case of the sin's of the fathers being used as rationalization by the children of the transgressed.

The fact that lands are held by unproductive hands is not a case for commandeering lands either, regardless of what natural resources such lands may possess.

 

All true and well.

I'm not trying to argue in favor of such a takeover.

Again, just wanna know if the typical "We're-patriots-and-sometimes-you-need-to-get-your-hands-dirty" kinda narrative put forth by those TV show conspirators (e.g. President Logan, Christopher Henderson, Graem Bauer etc. in "24") has any ounce of truth to it, even under this false moral basis.

Whether it is in any sense true that such an indirect conquest would constitute a passing on of resources into much more productive hands, or perhaps just hands more favorable to Americans, resulting in a significant advantage in cheap, plentiful and reliable energy supply to Americans - as those conspirators typically argue. Or whether it actually just serves a handful of American oil companies, with no significant added value to Americans at large.

Whether the "American colonialism" is favorable to Americans compared to the Middle East nationalism or not.

Whether the legitimacy of the conspirators' intent can be disproved only on a moral basis, or whether their whole line of argument can be stopped right in its tracks: An economic miscalculation or overstatement on their own part, because America doesn't actually benefit?

I'm sure those conspirators wouldn't even come up with the idea that lands originally belonged to those American individuals who used it productively, or even to any individuals to begin with. They'd rather follow the collectivist "might-makes-right" kinda attitude and revel in their alleged "heroism" for having the guts to conquer the Middle East under a fabricated convenient pretext, in order to serve the American homeland.

Edited by DiscoveryJoy
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I cannot say what America or its interests are, but America as it could and should be has an interest in free-markets and private ownership by true capitalists (i.e. not engaged in initiation of harm) ), and a further interest not to fund any criminal organization, mob, crime cartel, or government which initiates force of any kind.

In a world of private peaceful market entities, all would be perfectly fine, and that IMHO is in America's (as it could and should be) interest.

In the context of any valuable and useful material or substance, such a market would guarantees American citizens objectively fair opportunity to purchase as consumers, or to get involved as producers, buy foreign property, plants, organizations etc.

 

When any form of force, corruption, fraud, crime (including particular species tyranny, dictatorship, communism, socialism...) gets injected, the objectively fair opportunity is distorted, the amount of distortion and unfairness, proportional to the levels and types of force used.

 

As such it is not in America's interest (as could and should be) to deal with non-capitalist individuals, groups or regimes. 

 

In answer to the original OP, America as it could and should be has an interest in a completely free-market of private entities, however, since certain geographical areas and certain important resources are controlled by Communists and/or Dictators, the particulars of how to deal with them on behalf of American citizens desire for objective fair opportunity with respect to those resources, is distorted and greatly complicated.

Edited by StrictlyLogical
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On 1/16/2022 at 5:56 PM, DiscoveryJoy said:

There seems to be this mainstream idea, that - for better or for worse - America has certain oil interests in the middle east, and that the more American companies are in control of the oil fields, the better for America. That in order to maximize its flourishing, America must "secure the oil fields".

Movies or TV shows like "24" commonly capitalize on this idea people generally accept. So they feature some US government conspiracy that manufactures a pretext (a false-flag Islamist terror attack on US soil, or some weapons of mass destruction smuggled into the hands of some dangerous middle eastern nations) for a strong US military presence in the middle east, with the goal of ultimately "securing the oil fields", and then divvying them up to almost exclusively American oil companies. With these US government conspirators considering themselves "patriots", because this way they're "securing American energy security for centuries to come".

I don't even get this in theory.

Any oil producing company - American or not - in its own self-interest, should be selling to anyone in the world who buys, at market price.

So even if none of the oil companies in the middle east where American, Americans should still be getting all the same oil for the same price. And even if all of the oil companies in that region where American, they'd still be selling to everyone else just as readily, and for the same market price, as to Americans. There's no reason why an American oil company should be interested in selling, or selling cheaper, only to Americans. Or a non-American one only selling, or selling cheaper, only to the non-American citizens of its origin.

So what would even be the advantage about the oil fields being dominated by American companies? Why should any American - except for perhaps the American oil companies themselves - actually care?

I know that American car drivers are paying much less than half of what Europeans are paying per gallon of gasoline, and close to the lowest prices in the world: https://www.statista.com/statistics/221368/gas-prices-around-the-world/

But that seems to be mainly due to government policy rather than world market dominance of American oil companies: https://money.cnn.com/pf/features/lists/global_gasprices/

So what am I missing?

Replied to OP, forgot to quote

Edited by StrictlyLogical
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