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The Petroleum Gulf
 
The Discovery and Development of Offshore Oil in the United Arab Emirates
 
by Michael Quentin Morton
English and Arabic versions
72 colour/b+w photographs, maps
 

In that gulf, there was no continental shelf; its waters were not very deep and nowhere exceeded 75 fathoms. The geologists had ascertained that the geological structure of the soil beneath the sea was the same as that of the adjacent territory which contained immense reserves of mineral oil. Consequently fantastic deposits of oil would certainly be discovered in the subsoil of the Persian [Arabian] Gulf. (Manley O. Hudson, 1950)

Many accounts of oil histories tend to deal with the offshore exploration in a few paragraphs, focusing on the onshore oil discoveries instead. And yet, although the offshore industry faced greater risks and expense, its achievements are equal, or even surpass, those of the onshore industry - no less so than in the Arabian Gulf where two of the offshore oilfields discovered in Emirati waters are among the largest in the world.

With the original Abu Dhabi offshore concession due to expire in 2018, this book is a timely account of the discovery and development of offshore oil in the United Arab Emirates. But this is not a simple narrative of a few marine surveys and exploratory wells, since the history of the industry encompasses a wide range of subjects, with human stories at its core. Remarkably, for an industry that took to the open sea less than a century ago, this fascinating book has much to tell about the search for undersea oil and the transformation of the UAE from a traditional society into a modern, prosperous state. 

 

Published by the UAE National Archives in December 2016.


 



The Petroleum Gulf cover



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