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Mid-East Oil

Discussion in 'Sacred Cows and Dead Horses' started by brndirt1, Aug 26, 2009.

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  1. brndirt1

    brndirt1 Saddle Tramp

    Jul 7, 2008
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    I am sorry as to addressing each of your positions in turn, haven't figured out how to use the "multiple quotes" option (don't laugh guys!). So I'll post my reply in a narrative made up of other files I have put together over the years.

    The original Baku fields on the west shore of the Capsian were sabotaged by the Soviets themselves as they left the area in anticipation of the Nazis actually getting to the fields as they did at Maikop and Grozny. At Baku, there were ten defense zones built around the city to prevent possible German invasion. Taking into consideration the growing demand for oil, the Baku workers reached the record level of oil extraction in 1941 – 23.482 million tons. Just in case Hitler’s troops were not stopped before they reached Baku, Stalin entrusted one man with making sure that the Nazis could not avail of the city’s legendary oil. Nikolai Baibakov. By the autumn of 1942 764 wells were stopped up with cement and prepared for destruction and 81 sets of drilling equipment together with the personnel were sent to East Baku (Baku II), on the opposite shore of the Caspian Sea.

    None of the captured fields ever sent a single barrel of oil to the Nazis, in fact the pipe they had brought to Maikop/Grozny were captured by the Soviets when they returned. Those German pipes were then used to ship the petroleum to the Soviets! After the wells in Baku I were capped off with deep injections of cement, the Soviets transferred their petroleum production to the known but non-developed Baku II fields on the east shore of the Caspian (Turkmenia). The Baku I area didn't get back into production until post war, when the Soviets themselves repaired the damage they had done when they withdrew.

    Oil fields and refineries are far to easy to put out of production, and far too difficult to get back into production during time of war. Witness the NEI (Dutch Shell, East Indies), fields the Japanese captured. The Dutch and their supporters did such an admirable job of sabotage that the Japanese didn’t get them back to 100% production until late 1944! And by then they had no way to use what they produced, since they couldn’t transport it back to the home islands, nor use it in situ.

    For the UK, British Isles oil imports in 1939 were as follows:

    46.2% - Caribbean - mainly Venezuela, but includes Trinidad and Mexico
    30.8% - Middle East - Persia (Iran), & Iraq
    19.2% - US
    (the rest came from Rumania)

    Then with Italy entering into the war in mid-1940, and the Central Med. a war zone, middle east oil became more expensive since it had to be shipped around the Cape. In consequence by 1942, no middle east oil was sent to the home islands, both Persian and Iraqi oil production/refining was scaled back short term (civil unrest didn't help), and that which was produced was used "in house", i.e. the MTO, plus some sent to India, especially after the loss of the Far East oil producers; NEI, Burma, Borneo and Malaya to the Japanese. So this is the picture for UK petroleum by 1942:

    60.0% - US,
    40.0% - Trinidad, Venezuela and Mexico (Rumanian oil purchases stopped in 1940, but they had accounted for only 4.2% of British imports that year)

    By 1944, 79% of Britain's oil imports would be from the US; 21% from the Caribbean, as those sources could be shipped cheaper. The Suez Canal have been of no import to the UK for supplying the home islands (they had been shipping over 90% of all goods around the Cape since the opening days of the war), since Italy was holding Ethiopia and "air-patrolling" the southern entrance to Suez only warships and supply ships for the troops in Egypt used the canal, the UK didn't receive any substantial percentage of their oil from their holdings in the mid-east after 1940.

    The British Isles themselves got most of their oil and petro-products for most of the war from the US, still the world's leading oil exporter at the moment. The US supplied (from our own fields) nearly 75% of all the oil and its products used by ALL the western allies for the entire war. Note how very different the petro-world was then!

    The Persian Gulf was not nearly as significant an oil producer in WWII as it is now. In 1939, the US accounted for 60.4% of GLOPAL PETROLEUM PRODUCTION, and Latin America another 15.3%, so more than three quarters of the world's petroleum production was in the New World (Western Hemisphere).

    The USSR accounted for the largest single chunk of the remaining production, 10.6% (at that time) which came from both Baku and the Maikop and Grozny fields. The other known and producing petroleum fields worldwide were these:

    Iraq & Persia (Iran) accounted for 5.4%.
    the NEI (Dutch East Indies) 2.7%.
    Romania 2.4%.
    the British Empire (Malaysia, Burma, and British Borneo) 2.0%.

    The Arabian and North African oil fields had not yet been found nor developed. UK imports of petroleum early in the war were running around 11-12 million metric tons (2,200 lbs). About half of this could be satisfied from Empire sources alone (Persia, Iraq, Malaysia, Burma, and British Borneo, as far as I know.) After June, 1940, they surely could get as much as they wanted of the NEI production (with the Dutch nation occupied), which could have covered the rest of the Commonwealth states and Dominions in the Pacific. But the US is a lot closer to the home islands, and they could get high quality refined product from there as well, so they probably got as much as they could afford from the US.

    The British had been sending between 85 and 90% of their commercial shipping around the "Cape of Africa" since the outbreak of war, both to and from their dominions and commonwealth partners in the Pacific area. That Suez canal connection was most generally used for military shipments to the troops in Egypt and the RN in the Med., but the Levant area and eastern Mediterranean islands could be as easily supplied through the protectorates of Syria, Persia (Iran), and Iraq.

    Finally. As to taking Turkey, the Nazis were notoriously bad at crossing water in amphibious landings, and the entire country is really on a plateau which limits the number of places an amphibious attack can be made on. Then when/if they conquer the Turks, they still cannot get the Baku oil back to Germany for use. There was no pipeline between the Caspian and the Black Seas, they had no oil tankers, and little chance of building either during war-time.
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