The geopolitics of oil transportation in the Middle East
Conference PHd In International Relations
Following the discovery of vast oil reserves in the Persian Gulf region, the Middle East became the main hub for the expansion and development of western pipeline technology. Contrary to borderless world described in some globalization accounts, what is observed after 1956 is the creation of hard political borders directly under the oversight of national governments for pipeline deployment with minimal boundary crossings. In the Middle East, this minimal permeability of frontiers entailed fewer risks compared with the uncertainties arising from having to cross several countries: the sovereign state seemed the best container for oil transportation. The concept of re-territorialization is put forward in the conclusion to explain the multi-level changes that took place, entailing shifts in geography, in business structures and in international relations.