1950's Oil Production


    'Global oil production went from about 0.1 billion barrels in 1900 to about 4.2 billion barrels in 1950' (CounterCurrents, 2009) and since the mid to late 1950's, oil has become the most important resource available to mankind. In this decade, oil production had just 'exceeded 500 million tons for the first time' (Odell, 1963) giving the annual increase in oil production at around about 7%. In 1943, the British controlled 81% of Middle Eastern oil production as compared with 14% under American control. However after World War 2, the United States was dominating oil production by having a significantly greater advance in oil production than anyone else in the world. Combined together the 'Seven Sisters' controlled almost 99% of world oil production.

    Between 1950 and 1960, oil 'production doubled and proven reserves increased threefold' (Odell, 1963) showing that even though technological advances were not that significant,  different types of drilling were discovered helping exploration and consumption which was rapidly expanding around the world. This was helped by the discovery of the Ghawar Oil Field just before the 1950s in Saudi Arabia which is the world's largest oil field to date.
    This led to oil companies branching out across the world and discovering new oil reserves, especially in middle eastern countries including Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and more importantly Iran, in which many companies including BP and Shell managed to 'negotiate an agreement with Iranian government and for oil production in Iran' (APAG, 2005) which opened the pathway for many companies to start mass production of oil and taking the domination of power away from the US. 
Source: Window on State Government, 2001