Discuss the multi-dimensional implications of uneven distribution of mineral oil in the world. UPSC GS Paper 1 2021, 15 Marks

Q16. विश्व में खनिज तेल के असमान वितरण के बहुआयामी प्रभावों की विवेचना कीजिए । (250 शब्दों में उत्तर दीजिए)

Q16. Discuss the multi-dimensional implications of uneven distribution of mineral oil in the world. (250 words) 15 Marks

Answer:

Introduction

The Middle East contains more than half of the world’s proven oil reserves. Canada, the United States, Latin America, Africa, and the former Soviet Union’s region contain less than 15% of the world’s proven reserves.

India is highly dependent on west Asia for its energy needs. This uneven distributions of mineral oil in the world has various social, economic and political implications.

The amount of oil produced in a given region is not always proportional to the size of its proven reserves. For example, the Middle East has more than half of the world’s proven reserves but only accounts for about 30% of global oil production.

Political Implication

  • World has witnessed various wars to acquire the mineral oil reserves by considering its economic value. USA’s interference in the geo politics of West Asia is also one of the reasons of uneven distribution of oil mineral.
  • According to the survey, Oil-producing countries are 50% more likely to be autocratic, and civil wars are more than twice as likely in oil-producing countries as in non-oil-producing countries. These political and military consequences are linked to statistics indicating that these states are more secretive, financially volatile, and discriminate against women in economic and political opportunities.

Economic and Social Implication

  • Many developing and least developed nations has to face huge trade deficit due to lack of oil reserves. For example, India’s dependence for oil and natural gas in the major reasons behind India’s current account deficit.
  • On the other hand, Countries may not have the resources they require, but trade allows them to obtain those resources from places that do. Japan is a country with very few natural resources, but it is one of the richest in Asia.
  • Uneven distribution of oil reserve give autonomy to oil producing nations to decide the prices of crude oil. This makes the Global oil market volatile, which leads to rise in oil prices. Hike in oil prices will lead to inflation in the domestic market of various nations.
  • Availability of Oil reserves leads to more job opportunities in middle east. That is the reason why India has a large diaspora in the middle east.
  • It is critical to understand that, while resources are extremely important, it is not the presence or absence of natural resources within a country that determines its prosperity. In fact, some of the wealthier countries lack natural resources, whereas many poorer countries have plenty.

Environmental Implication

  • Even though Oil resources are unevenly distributed, but it does not have a direct correlation with environmental degradation. For Example, USA following china and India are the largest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions, but they are not the major oil producing nations.

Evaluation

Socio-economic development of any nation is determined by two factors: (1) what resources a country has access to (what resources it can obtain or end up with) and (2) what the country does with those resources (the efforts and skills of workers and the technology available for making the most of those resources).

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