The Petroleum Gulf
The Discovery and Development of Offshore Oil in the United Arab Emirates
Michael Quentin Morton
English and Arabic
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.
Now available online from Kinokuniya, Dubai,