EGEE 120
Oil: International Evolution

Lesson 11 Overview


Concepts to Consider for the Lesson

More oil shocks, more conflict in the Middle East, and more price volatility characterize the period covered by this lesson. We also see major restructuring of companies with many mergers, some quite significant. Permeating this period, and in truth, most of the oil industry’s history, is the fear of running out of oil. The fear of our running out of oil or our having peaked in oil production has always occurred after major oil events such as World War I, World War II, the oil crises in the 1970s, and the new oil shock of 2003-2008. Interestingly, each time, more oil was found in new areas using new technologies, and a new surplus evolved after the 2008-2009 recession. All the data suggests there are sufficient oil resources underground. However, there are a number of constraints and challenges in getting them out. The first is the above-ground risks that can deter development and lead to supply and demand imbalance. Such risks may involve geopolitics, costs, government and company decisions, and restrictions on access and investment. The second is the increase in nontraditional or unconventional oil from ultra-deep offshore waters, oil/tar sands, shale oil, and natural gas liquids (NGL). Third, is the frightening sheer size of the potential demand of China and India and the challenges posed in meeting that potential demand.

As we wrap up our journey through The Prize, we learn that the rush for oil has not stopped since Pennsylvania in 1859. Since then, oil has had the ability to make and break nations, whether in war or in peace. It has also brought the best and worst out of society and produced booms and busts. Oil’s central and strategic role in national politics, economy and strategies, geographical distribution, and recurrent patterns of crisis continue to make it a problematic commodity. Oil powers our daily life, gives us our daily bread, and fuels our global struggles and economy. The fierce search for oil and its riches and power will continue as long as the hydrocarbon man is addicted to it. That power, however, comes with a heavy price.

Learning Objectives

By the end of this lesson, you should be able to:

  • Recall course concepts relating to Supply Disruptions, Price Shocks & Oil Market Trading
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the role of oil in relation to pivotal events in history
  • Discuss the role of oil in business applications, global markets, conflicts, energy security, and various unconventional applications
  • Analyze your own perceptions, values, beliefs, goals, histories, or self-concepts for the Course Reflection Activity

What is due for Lesson 11?

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 11 Checklist
Activity Location Submitting Your Work
Read The Prize: Chapters __ (select sections)
The Quest: Chapter __ (select sections)
No Submission
Discuss Participate in the Yellowdig discussion Canvas
Complete Complete the Course Reflection activity 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.