Behind the conflicts and the crises, the agreements and the severing of ties, the oil sector is above all a global business, number one in terms of the scale of trading. The sector is t only essential to the world ecomy, but it is generally thought to be of strategic importance. The history of oil gives scholars the chance to track and analyse changes in the world in the twentieth century, especially through the transition from unequal trading towards more balanced solutions, in which oil-producing countries can really profit from their resources. Numerous solutions have been proposed to ensure that oil revenue is t lost, but also to ensure that profits are made and supplies are secure. In order to examine the diversity and complexity of the recent history of the oil industry, this book considers the twentieth century across different continents, using original examples and new research on regions such as Latin America and Africa. Different views are analysed and changes in the industry are put into context. Today's realities are brought into focus by putting the spotlight on long-term changes. The volume concludes that the oil sector has t yet fully established itself as a sector of strategic importance.
Alain Beltran belongs to the French National Centre for Scientific Research, as part of the unit IRICE located at the University of Paris I Pantheon-Sorbonne. For two years he was employed as a professor at the Ecole Normale Superieure de Cachan. He works mainly on the history of energy, business history and innovation. For more than ten years he has had the support of the company Total in developing work on the history of oil.