Buraimi: The Struggle for Power, Influence and Oil in Arabia

Buraimi: The Struggle for Power, Influence and Oil in Arabia

by Michael Quentin Morton


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Buraimi: The Struggle for Power, Influence and Oil in Arabia by Michael Quentin Morton

Buraimi is an oasis in an otherwise bleak desert on the border between Oman and the UAE. In the early twentieth century, it shot to notoriety as oil brought the world's attention to this corner of the Arabian Peninsula, and the ensuing battle over energy resources between regional and global superpowers began. In this lively account, Michael Quentin Morton tells the story of how the power of oil and the conflicting interests of the declining British Empire and the United States all came to a head with the conflict between Great Britain and Saudi Arabia, shaping the very future of the Gulf states.

The seeds of conflict over Buraimi were sown during the oil negotiations of 1933 in Jedda, where the international oil companies vied for control of the future industry in the Arabian Peninsula. As a result of lengthy discussions, including the efforts of men such as St John Philby and Ibn Saud himself, the Saudis granted an oil concession for Eastern Arabia without precisely defining the geographical limits of the area to be conceded. Matters came to a head in 1949 when Saudi Arabia made claim to the territory, and Great Britain, acting on behalf of Oman and Abu Dhabi, challenged the actions of the Saudis. Attempts at arbitration failed, and only one year before Britain's defeat over the Suez Canal, Britain expelled Saudi Arabia from the oasis. In the wake of Britain's withdrawal 'East of Suez' in the early 1970s, the dispute was apparently solved between Saudi Arabia and the UAE. But whilst the controversy dominated Anglo-Saudi relations for more than 30 years, it still casts its shadow across the Gulf today, threatening to expose the fragility of the West's ever-present dependency on the region for its supply of oil.

Morton brings a range of historical figures to life, from the American oilmen arriving in steamy Jedda in the 1930s, to the rival sheikhs of Buraimi itself competing for power, wealth and allegiances as well as the great players in world politics: Churchill, Truman and Ibn Saud. This entertaining and thoroughly researched book is both a story of a decisive conflict in the history of Middle East politics and also of the great changes that the discovery of oil brought to this previously desolate land.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781848858183
Publisher: I. B.Tauris & Company, Limited
Publication date: 10/29/2013
Pages: 304
Product dimensions: 6.40(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Michael Quentin Morton grew up in Qatar, Bahrain and Abu Dhabi in the 1950s and 1960s. A barrister using his first-hand knowledge of the region, he has written a number of books and articles on the history of oil exploration in the Arabian Peninsula.

Table of Contents

List of Maps
1. Jeddah Calling
2. A Bend in the Wadi
3. The Riyadh Line
4. Lanterns in the Dark
5. A Tale of Two Brothers
6. Squeezing Aramco
7. The Stobart Incident
8. Borderlands
9. Turki and the Tax Collectors
10. Taking a Stand
11. The Hamasa Blockade
12. No Oil Man's Land
13. Make it a Red Fire
14. The Buraimi Tribunal
15. Dust in Their Eyes
16. Operation Bonaparte
17. Ramblers in the Sand
18. The Road to Suez
19. Rebels and Refugees
20. Shaybah Rising
List of Main Characters

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