DEPARTMENT OF ECONOMICS AND POLITICAL SCIENCE AMERICAN UNIVERSITY IN BEIRUT 1949-1950.
Qasim Ahmad Fakhro
The World's interest in the Arab Eastern countries is continuously increasing, and this is largely due to the occurrence of considerable percentage of world's oil reserve in this area. The importance of these oil reserves to the Arab Eastern countries, and the world at large, is being recognized more and more every day, and is being discussed and stressed upon everywhere in periodicals and books. The growing interest in the problems of the Arab East, in the economic and political spheres, made me aware of the major role the oil is playing in the national economies and political policies of the Arab Eastern countries, and thus I became interested in the subject. In this thesis, I have attempted to give a general survey about the Arab East oil in its economic and political aspects,which are so interrelated without knowing the other.
In Part One, as an introduction, I dealt briefly with petroleum in its economic and political aspects, and the position of the Arab East Oil in relation toconcessions and licences granted to the oil companies and the exploration, development, production and marketing of the oil reserves found in the various parts of the Arab Eastern countries and the social effects of this oil on these countries.
In Part Three I dealt with the effects of the Arab East oil in the international conflicts and agreements between the various major powers of the world,and its role, in the formulation of these powers'policies in regard to the Arab East itself.
Before ending this preface, I have to express my indebtedness to Professor A. J. Meyer for his valuable suggestions and advice, and to all those who have helped me in one way or another, in the preparation of this thesis. May 1, 1950. Kasim A. Fakhroo.
The Arab East Oil significance to the Arab East and to the world at large is not difficult to grasp, after the foregoing survey, despite its all shortcomings. We have seen the importance of oil as a source of national wealth to the various government of the Arab Eastern countries, and the direct results of this income, which might be utilized by these governments to the public advantage through the undertaking of important projects which could not be achieved otherwise. The availability of cheap fuel in these countries will have direct and indirect effects on the development of agriculture and industry, and its indirect effect on the social development of these countries. The operation of oil companies in these areas involve a source of income for the native employees and all these who are related to the companies and dependent upon them, in one way or another, and its indirect results will effect the whole community where the oil operation is taking place. Despite the oil operation is taking place. Despite the fact that oil is still a wasting asset in most of these countries, this will not continue, and we are beginning to see hopeful signs in some of those countries where oil is becoming a real source of wealth; and it is only natural to have such a waste at the beginning.
The effects of oil on the industrial, agricultural and social development of those countries will depend to a large extent on the policies of the various Arab Governments towards such development, and the relations between these governments and the various foreign oil companies operating in these areas. The relation of the governments and the oil companies should be based on a Joint,or separate policies which should not be affected by the rise or fall of these governments, as it has been the case in some countries. Such a policy or policies might include a sound and well-systematized mines regulations which, while guaranteeing the rights of these governments, should be also acceptable to the foreign oil companies who are ready to undertake the Job which otherwise cannot be undertaken, which results, in that case in the oil remaining underground.
Such a policy might also include provisions regulating clearly the relation of the oil company with their native employees, and also the responsibilities of these companies to the people & the governments of the Lands they are exploiting; and the extent of such responsibilities will effect to a large extent the attitude of the governments and the people towards these companies. The outcome of such a policy or policies will be to the mutual advantage of the two parties.
The interdependence of the economic and political aspects of oil is the source of all the conflicts, hostilies and waste over the Arab East oil between the people of the Arab Eastern countries, the governments of these areas and the foreign oil companies and their powerful governments, and the outcome of all such conflicts, coercions and hostilities might be to the disadvantages of all the parties concerned. In the Arab East, there is a rising national movement and an important aspect of any such movement is the strife towards achieving political independence by peaceful means or otherwise.
Most of the Eastern countries are not fully independent and their policies are directed and controlled from without, and this lead to the mistrust and lack of confidence of the people of these countries in their own governments and foreign oil companies which represent the interests and policies of their governments in this area. The breaking of the world major powers into two blocs on ideological basis and the shifting of their struggle to the Arab East might involve unforeseeble results. The people of these countries who see the western powers working against the fulfillment of their national aspirations as they have done in the past might turn to the other powers idology, without foreseeing the dangers, disadvantage and the ruinous final results of such an action to themselves and to their countries.
The Strategic location of the Arab East in the past, and the occurrence of large reserves of oil in it at the present have been the source of all the suffering and mischief from which the people of this area have suffered and still suffer and which amounts to many times more than the gains they have achieved as a result ). But one lways hopes that the unforeseen future will be better then the past and the present ....!