This is an excellent primer on the OIL industry. I highly recommend for anyone interested in the history of 20th century Industry and World Politics.This book will help any reader better understand recent Middle East events, as it provides details of the many decisions and actions that have led to the current situations. By providing the historic details and backdrop of the Oil Industry, a reader can gain better context for current actions, tensions and misunderstandings.It's too bad this book has not been updated. My paperback edition ends with the Carter Administration.
Format: Mass Market Paperback
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This was a highly interesting book. The title,the Seven Sisters refers to the seven oil companies who dominate the world petroleum marker. This book gives a history of each of the seven sisters(such as Exxon and Shell). This book also tells of the shaping of the world of oil as we know it today. The Seven Sisters also tells of events that have occurred that have had bearing on the world of petroleum. All in all I found this to be a very in formative book that made for informative reading. You will not be dissapointed if you purchase it.
This book tracks the development of the major oil companies of the 20th century and their efforts to ensure adequate supplies, pacify oil producing governments, all the while turning a profit. The behind-the-scenes story of the turbulent oil business will fascinate anyone who lived through the oil crisis of the 1970's. Get ready for higher gas prices this summer!
Forget the more famous "history" of the oil industry "the Prize" this book is the actual history and it remains as relevant in modern times (I write this in 2008 months after the Russia/Georgia conflict and as the global financial crisis unfolds) as it was when first written in the mid-1970s, another period of great turmoil in world energy prices and global economic upheaval.
Ask anyone who lived through the oil industry in the past two to three decades if this is an accurate, let alone well written book they will answer in the affirmative. You will not get that universal endorsement of other accounts. What makes the big difference is that Sampson took the trouble to get inside the story and meet and understand what made the great oil leaders tick, why governments did what they did and what the geopolitical implications were.
If you want to know what really happened in the great battles and achievements of the past and get a strong insight into our own times of resource nationalism and rise and rise of national oil companies, you need to include this perspective in your reading (and re-reading).
Having long been interested in the Oil Industry, one day I sat down and read "The Prize" by Daniel Yergen. It struck me as nothing more than PR for the Oil Industry, and to this day I wonder if Cambridge Energy Research Associates is nothing more than a PR firm posing as a research outfit - funded by the oil companies to provide the media "research" about the oil industry which always happens to correspond with what the oil industry wants people to believe.
Some years later I stumbled across The Seven Sisters in a university library and just loved it - it pulled back the curtain and revealed to me how the oil industry really works. The story of how a consortium of American and British oil companies controlled the supply (and thus the price) of oil for decades - and how power slowly shifted to national governments who had for years owned most of the world's oil but had had to stand by and watch the Seven Sisters reap virtually all of the profits.
While my review perhaps reveals some bias on my part - I think this book is extremely even handed and fair. I recommend it most highly.
Obviously this is a dated work, but I had heard about this book for a long time. It explains the dominance of Mobil, Exxon, Shell, BP, Socal (Chevron), Gulf, and Texaco. These big oil companies basically set up a monopoly or cartel, and gouged the producers and consumers at the same time. These companies also made it easy for Opec to control the oil industry in the late seventies and early eighties. Of course much has changed since then. Gulf no longer exists, BP bought out Sohio and Amoco, Exxon and Mobil merged, and Texaco merged with an independent Phillips. Opec has also evolved, so things have really changed. Libya is no longer the rabble rouser of the world, the Shah was overthroun, and Saddam is dead. The Saudis still exercise a lot of control of the oil industry.
This is a great book about the oil industry. Although dated, it gives the low down of the cartel that the seven sisters made. The American Government should have never let these companies get so big and powerful. They became extra legal corporations.