EGEE 120
Oil: International Evolution




We will start the lesson with the battles in the Pacific with Japan and discuss the victory fever that initially gripped Japan and how it turned into desperation on oil shortage and eventually to surrender/defeat. Continue on to cover the war in the Atlantic and in Europe and the role oil played in the war as well as how oil impacted American society because of the war. Then, see how the importance of oil dominated the objectives and strategies to seek oil in the Middle East following the war and find out how America, and not Britain, became the major power in Middle East oil and politics. We will learn when and how America became a net importer of oil and discuss how the Red Line Agreement was finally abandoned, paving the way for major American involvement in Middle East Oil.

Major Lesson Themes

  • Japan’s Attack on East Indies after Pearl Harbor
  • The Battles in the Pacific
  • Supply lines can be long and difficult to defend
  • Japan runs out of oil for which it went to war, leading to defeat
  • International cooperation in oil allocation
  • First full scale gasoline rationing
  • Growing concern about supply
  • Mobility was critical in Allies' advance
  • Importance of supply lines to war generals

Learning Outcomes for Lesson 6:

Students should be able to do the following after completing Lesson 6:

  • discuss what caused Japan to be short of oil and the consequences of the shortage;
  • explain why synthetic oil especially from pine root was no substitute for crude oil;
  • explain why Britain rejected the oil from coal synthetic fuel strategy;
  • chronicle the life of Deterding’s last years and why it concerned Britain;
  • explain the impact of the German U-boats and how they were overcome;
  • account for the production, system of coordination, and usage of oil in WWII;
  • explain the argument used for and provide details of the oil rationing in the US;
  • compare WWI and WWII with respect to oil use, innovations, mobility, and impact;
  • state and justify your decision if you were Eisenhower acting on Patton’s request;
  • explain the mission of DeGolyer to the Middle East and its outcome or conclusion;
  • provide the reason why Roosevelt initially refused Lend Lease for Saudi;
  • account for the mistrust between Britain and the US on Middle East;
  • explain the policy of solidification and its outcome;
  • indicate the Anglo-American Petroleum Agreement, its objective and eventual fate;
  • compare the meetings of Roosevelt and Saud and Churchill and Saud;
  • explain the similarities between the “As-Is” and “Anglo-American” Agreements;
  • account for how Harold Ickes eventually lost his power;
  • explain how and when the US became a net importer;
  • explain the difficulties and what it meant to have more US oil companies in Aramco.

What is due for Lesson 6?

This lesson will take us one week to complete. Please refer to the Course Syllabus for specific time frames and due dates. Specific directions for the assignment below can be found within this lesson.

Lesson 6 Checklist
Activity Location Submitting Your Work
Read The Prize: Chapters 18, 19, & 20 - (select sections) No Submission
Read The Quest: Chapter 14 - (select sections) No Submission
Read Online Lesson 6: Oil Strategy and World War II No Submission
Complete Lesson 6 Participation Activity Canvas
Take Lesson 6 Quiz Canvas


Each week an announcement is sent out in which you will have the opportunity to contribute questions about the topics you are learning about in this course. You are encouraged to engage in these discussions. The more we talk about these ideas and share our thoughts, the more we can learn from each other.