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Kamran Scot Aghaie, Chair CAL 528 | 204 W 21st St F9400 | Austin, TX 78712-1029 • 512-471-3881

Fall 2006

MES 322K • The Politics of Oil

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
42885 TTh
3:30 PM-5:00 PM
PAR 203

Course Description

This course analyzes the national and international structures of the petroleum industry. Changing trends in petroleum economics are related to international political alignments, focusing on the Middle East. Intra-Arab regional and domestic politics, as well as economic policies of the Middle Eastern states and international politics, will be analyzed in light of their possible effects upon the industry.

Grading Policy

25% for project (written and oral to be weighed taking student preferences into consideration) 15% for pop quizzes; 20% mid-term exam; 40% final exam.

PROJECT: Students will work in teams focused on particular companies or countries engaged in the international petroleum industry. While the lectures will tend to focus on the Arab oil-producing countries (Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Qatar) and Iran, some students will be encouraged to examine other oil producers such as the USSR, USA, Venezuela, and Mexico, and also to study the strategies of the multinational companies (Exxon, Mobil, Chevron, British Petroleum, Shell, etc.) and some of the newer companies founded by the oil exporters (including the Kuwait Petroleum Company!). The student teams will be expected to present oral reports in class and to write them up (maximum contribution of 1000 words per student, including statistical tables wherever they may be appropriate).


TEXT: Abel's course pack. David F. Prindle, Petroleum Politics and the Texas Railroad Commission (UT pb) Daniel Yergin, The Prize, Simon and Schuster, 1991 F. G. Gause III. Oil Monarchies (Council on Foreign Relations, NY, 1994)


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