Oil diplomacy refers to the use of oil as a tool for achieving political and diplomatic objectives. It involves the use of oil resources as a means of exerting influence and power over other countries or groups. Oil-producing countries often use their oil reserves as a bargaining chip in negotiations with other countries, leveraging their control over the world’s oil supplies to gain advantages in trade, foreign policy, or military affairs.
Oil diplomacy has played a significant role in global politics since the early 20th century, when the discovery of vast oil reserves in the Middle East and other regions transformed the global energy landscape. Today, oil remains one of the most valuable commodities in the world, and its production and distribution continue to shape international relations and diplomatic affairs.
One of the most famous examples of Oil Diplomacy occurred during the 1973 Yom Kippur War between Israel and its Arab neighbours. In response to the war, Arab members of the organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) led by Saudi Arabia declared an oil embargo against the USA, Japan, and other countries that supported Israel. This embargo caused oil prices to skyrocket and created an energy crisis in the West. The embargo was eventually lifted in 1974, but the event had a lasting impact on the geopolitics of the region and the power of oil as a diplomatic tool.