Gas and oil, so critical for human civilization, are two of the world’s most valuable commodities. Rarely do people take a step back and consider the global oil and gas industry as a whole, instead, preferring to focus on regional markets on a daily basis. Nonetheless, an assessment of the global situation is greatly enlightened and worth taking the time to evaluate.
There is no denying the immense size and ubiquity of this industry. It spans from the deserts of the Middle East to the tundra of Alaska. Its presence is felt in almost every corner of the world, touching a majority of nations through the exchange of goods, services, and currency. The implications of global oil and gas are far-reaching, both positive and negative, and differ from region to region.
The environmental impact of these resources is what is typically discussed first. Although oil and gas are necessary components of an ecologically globalized society, they come with the cost of emissions and landfill debris. Carbon dioxide and other emissions create air pollution that is oftentimes hard to notice due to its invisible nature. Because the industry’s reach goes far and wide, it is difficult to curb emissions and create a lasting climate change proposal.
The political and economic impacts must also be considered. Various nations control large amounts of oil and gas resources, from Russia to Iran. Consequently, the continuation of the industry throughout certain countries require adherence to strict embargoes set in place by the international community. The industry, from an economic standpoint, is also greatly subject to the whims of the global economy’s fluctuations. Market instability, therefore, can be an extremely dangerous risk for companies relying upon the industry.
The global oil and gas industry is a complex beast, there is no denying this. Its impacts extend far and wide, from environmental to political to economic and generally have lasting implications both good and bad. Its size and scale make it nearly impossible for a single party to address its needs and wants, thus requiring cooperation at the highest levels of governance and understanding. Ultimately, it is important for those interested in the industry, either for research or economic purposes, to understand these complexities and take into account their overall effect on the global stage.