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Petroleum is not evenly distributed around the planet. The Middle East contains slightly less than half of the world’s proven reserves (including Iran but not North Africa). 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.

The uneven distribution of oil around the world has a variety of ramifications, including:

Economic:

  • The uneven distribution of mineral oil around the world has an impact on the trade balance between importing and exporting countries. This, in turn, has an impact on the country’s foreign-exchange reserves.
  • It also has economic ramifications for the importing country, such as inflation. Consider the following scenario:
  • India’s current account deficit is primarily due to its reliance on oil and natural gas.
  • In Kazakhstan, a dramatic and unexpected increase in fuel prices created a national crisis.

Political:

  • Many historical and contemporary conflicts revolve around nations vying for control of resource-rich areas. Consider the following scenario:
  • Many African violent conflicts have been sparked by a desire for diamond and oil resources.
  • One of the reasons for the unequal distribution of oil resources is the United States’ meddling in West Asian geopolitics.

Employment and Migration:

  • The Middle East now has more job opportunities due to the availability of oil reserves. Because of this, India has a sizable diaspora in the Middle East.

Energy Security:

  • In oil-scarce countries, energy insecurity stems from the uneven distribution of mineral energy resources.

It also has an impact on their strategic autonomy.

As a result, one of the top priorities for policymakers is to ensure the country’s energy security.

Diplomatic leverage :

  • The uneven distribution of oil resources is a key factor in leveraging their availability for diplomatic purposes. Consider the following scenario:
  • India had no choice but to comply with US sanctions in order to stop importing cheap Iranian oil.
  • Similarly, Pakistan’s strategic location makes the TAPI gas pipeline difficult to build.

Unequal Growth:

  • Mineral oil’s uneven distribution has resulted in uneven growth over the world. Import price increases have a direct impact on the government’s ability to spend on social programmes.
  • The importance of the relationship between energy and growth has been widely recognised by policymakers around the world. As a result, it’s a well-known fact that growth and energy are mutually reinforcing.

Conclusion

As a result of the uneven distribution of mineral oil resources, there are a variety of consequences ranging from economic to energy security.

This emphasizes the importance of India diversifying its energy portfolio in terms of both content and geography.

Reducing reliance on imported fuels and diversifying energy sources for power production are major policy directions for improving energy security, which also reduces emissions and encourages economic development.

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