The Middle East contains slightly less than half of the world’s proven oil reserves . Following the Middle East are Canada and the United States, Latin America, Africa, and the former Soviet Union region, which includes Russia, Kazakhstan, and other countries.
Multi-dimensional implications of uneven distribution of mineral oil in the world.
1. Regional conflicts: Iran vs Saudi Arabia with an intention to control more oil resources. Another example was Iraq invading Kuwait in the 1990s to control rich oil reserves of Kuwait.
2. Oil Geopolitics: The west interfere into the internal affairs of these nations rich in mineral oil.
3. Energy Security: India’s ties in West Asia is crucial for its energy security. Hence it should balance its relationship with Saudi Arabia, Iran and Isreal carefully.
4. Economic Factors: The cartelization of Prices has economic impacts on the oil importing nations.
5. Oil diplomacy: Investments are attracted into the oil rich nations in the form of diplomacy. Ex: Infrastructure Investments in UAE.
6. Growth patterns: The growth in the oil importing nations depends on the prices of the oil. Hence they are at the mercy of the oil rich nations. Increase in prices, increases inflation, and hurts the economy of oil importing countries.
The importance of mineral oil is reducing with the world transitioning from fossil fuels towards cleaner energy or renewable energy.