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Day 24 – Q 1.How did newly found petroleum resources change the fate of Southwest Asian nations? Discuss. 

1. How did newly found petroleum resources change the fate of Southwest Asian nations? Discuss.  

पेट्रोलियम संसाधनों ने दक्षिण पश्चिम एशियाई देशों की किस्मत कैसे बदल दी? चर्चा करें।


  • Southwest Asia is the westernmost sub region of Asia 
  • Southwest Asia has the world’s largest known oil reserves. Saudi Arabia and Iran have the largest deposits of oil.
  • Oil rich countries in south-west Asia includes Iran, Iraq, Syria, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Oman, and Yemen. These ten countries together have an area of 5.1 million square kilometres, or about 3.4% of the Earth’s land surface, but they possess according to BP’s 2012 Statistical Review of World Energy, 48% of world’s known oil reserves and 38% of natural gas reserves.


The Middle East oil fields, stretching in a great arc from Iran and Iraq around the Persian Gulf, comprise collectively the largest known petroleum deposits, approximating about two-thirds of the oil reserve of the free world.           

TLP SYNOPSIS [Day 24 - 7th Nov, 2019]: UPSC Mains General Studies Questions

TLP SYNOPSIS [Day 24 – 7th Nov, 2019]: UPSC Mains General Studies Questions                                            

The region has been completely transformed due to the discovery of oil.

  • Oil-producing countries have enjoyed tremendous growth in national wealth and an improved standard of living. Citizens that live in these countries may have the access to quality houses, food, health care, education, jobs, transportation, communication, and luxury items. The life expectancy in these countries has increased by over 15 years because of advancements in healthcare, hospitals, medicines, education, etc.
  • One of the results from cracks in oil rigs, oil spills, and illegal dumping of oil waste is reduction in the amount of freshwater available for drinking apart from environmental deterioration leading to climate change.

Many Southwest Asian nations became dependent on oil sales.

Global impact

It has made some of these countries extremely rich and has led them to have a lot of control over the global economy.

Political instability-

  • Some countries have grown very rich due to their oil production (Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait), while countries without oil are struggling (Afghanistan, Jordan, Israel, etc.).
  • Countries without oil have a much harder time improving living conditions for their population. This difference in wealth in some of the Middle East has led to conflicts among the nations.
  • Anarchy/despotism in Iraq and Syria was a result of the leaders in these nations growing rich by exporting oil and not spending the revenue generated on the wellbeing of the common people.
  • Interference by western nations further complicated the situation. 

Even though there was drastic growth in this region, the recent issue on curbing climate change will dampen oil economy in future and many of these nations are not ready with other alternative to run their nations. They have been exploitative and never concerned about the consequences.


Developments like initiation of production of Shale gas and environmental regulation under Paris agreement is surely going to bring in much required sustainability in the region. Further, development of alternative economies like livestock ranching as proposed by Saudi Arabia’s prince should be a pathway for other nations to go for sustainability and help future generation. 

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