'Oil and Politics' - an economist specializing in oil takes a look at the bigger picture

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Oil Tanker at Kinder Morgan Pipeline Terminal

John Foster's new book Oil and World Politics was the result of unconventional inspiration. The retired economist specializing in the oil and petroleum industry was attending a series of lectures where, as he describes it in the preface of the book, a couple of his colleagues called him out for rolling his eyes in the back row.

In his own words, "the speakers extolled all the wonderful things that Western leaders were doing for the world. I was a bit skeptical whether the non Western world was as accepting as they insinuated."

Having spent so much of his life working as an oil economist, John Foster understands the underlying role played by oil and gas in international affairs. It's a huge role, and he believes that The Petroleum Game is the foundation upon which the geopolitics of the world sits. He identifies hidden issues behind many of the conflicts in the world today, looking at military interventions in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria; tensions in the Persian Gulf and the South China Sea; and use of sanctions or political interference related to petroleum trade in Iran, Russia, and Venezuela. And closer to home, the Alberta Tar Sands.

Victoria Fenner spoke to John Foster over skype.

Further reading:  John Foster also wrote a recent column for rabble on December 10, 2018 called Pipelines will not solve the big problems with Alberta Oil.

Image: Roy Luck – Flickr - Oil Tanker at Kinder Morgan Pipeline Terminal

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