By: Gulf Publishing Co.
Date: 1958 (dated) Houston
Dimensions: 25.75 x 38 inches (65.5 x 96.5 cm)
Rare and important map of the Middle East illustrating Oil Imperialism with oil-rich land concessions to European and American powers as well as the respective oil companies operating within that would shape the region and global energy politics for generations.
This map was published on August 15, 1958 as a supplement to the International Outlook Issue of World Oil. It illustrates the concessions granted to different oil companies operating in the Middle East, from Egypt and southwestern Turkey to Iran and the entire Arabian Peninsula. Each concession notes the countries and companies holding claim as well as their respective percentage share. The most significant concession, held by Aramco, has been in place since the 1933 royal concession.
Additionally, the map highlights smaller concessions held by entities such as Sirip (Société Irano-Italienne des Pétroles), Kuwait Oil, and Japan Petroleum.The map also provides the locations of oil fields, pump stations, and refineries while delineating oil and gas pipelines, most of which lead to the newly formed Israel and Lebanon along the eastern Mediterranean coast.
A Brief History of Oil in the Middle East
The entire story of oil in the middle east is very complex as it is nearly 100 years long and still ongoing. With respect to the map, we will touch on a few main points leading up to the time of its publication.
Oil was first discovered in Iran (which was then Persia) during the Great Depression in 1933 by two American Geologists named Robert Miller and Schuyler Henry. Concession were made almost immediately to the British and work began on the most basic form of infrastructure. The first spouts became active in 1936, shortly before the onset of WWII.
The war highlight the importance of oil as a major fuel source and the post-war economic boom the followed (predominantly in the U.S.) only increased the demand. While still in office, President Roosevelt made it clear that the United States intended to recognize Britain's claim to oil reserves in Iran so long as concessions in Iraq and Kuwait would be shared and the Arabian Peninsula would be left to U.S. interests only.
Iran would begin the process of nationalizing their oil production in the 1950s. Unfortunately for the British, their newly elected prime minister Muhammad Mossadegh (elected in 1951) did not envision the involvement of Great Britain in his plans for production. In October of 1952, Mossadegh evicted the British embassy and officials from Iran. In response, Britain effectively tapped into heightened anti-communist sentiments in the U.S., portraying both Mossadegh and Iran as unstable and susceptible to communism as they weakened.
A joint effort against Mossadeq, known as "Operation Ajax" by the CIA and "Operation Boot" by British MI6, unfolded in August and would forever be known as the Iranian Coup of 1953. The American CIA, utilizing bribes to politicians, soldiers, mobs, and media, orchestrated a riot with information obtained from the British embassy and secret service. This riot provided the Shah with a pretext to oust Mossadegh from power.
Seizing the opportunity, the Shah issued an edict forcefully removing the immensely popular and democratically-elected Mossadegh from office. General Fazlollah Zahedi led tanks to Mossadegh’s residence, resulting in his arrest. On December 21, 1953, Mossadegh was initially sentenced to death, but later this was commuted to three years of solitary confinement in a military prison followed by life imprisonment.
Importance of the World's Oil Map of the Middle East
This map presents the result of Mossadegah's removal from office and the abandonment of any other plans by Middle-eastern countries to have complete control over oil production within their national borders. It is thus a map of European and American Oil Imperialism, as it presents the geopolitical dominance exerted by powerful nations and corporations over the production, distribution, and control of oil resources. The information shown in the map marks a pivotal point in the history global energy politics as it pertains to the Middle East and the precarious relations between those countries and major world powers.
Today, the Middle East is still the largest producer of oil in the world. What was once a collection of countries comprised nomadic people and subsistence farmers of little consequence to the rest of the world is now one of the wealthiest regions of utmost economic, and political importance.
Gulf Publishing Company was established in 1916 by Ray Lofton Dudley, and is a global publishing and events enterprise focused on the hydrocarbon energy sector. The company organizes conferences and events tailored for the energy industry. Its premier magazines—World Oil, Hydrocarbon Processing, Pipeline & Gas Journal, and the Petroleum Economist—are released on a monthly basis. Since its inception, World Oil has been a comprehensive source covering the upstream oil and gas industry, spanning conventional, shale, offshore, exploration, and production technology in the oil and gas sector.
Condition: Map is in A condition, issued folded with folds still present. There are no tears or holes, and very little discoloration along fold lines. The map can be flattened or linen backed for an additional by reasonable fee.
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