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Planet Oil

The Carbon Wars

Duration: 50 minutes

First broadcast: on BBC WORLD NEWS EuropeLatest broadcast: on BBC WORLD NEWS North America

By the early 1950s, a holy trinity of oil, plastics and fertilisers had transformed the planet. But as Professor Iain Stewart reveals, when the oil producing countries demanded a greater share in profits from the Western energy companies, the oil and gas fields of the Middle East became a focus for coup d'etats and military conflict. In the North Sea, Prof. Stewart recalls the race against time to find alternative supplies in the shallow, but turbulent waters both there and in America's Gulf coast. The offshore discoveries in the 1970s proved to be a game changer. It marked an engineering revolution, the moment when 'difficult' oil and gas (previously unviable sources) could be commercially produced from the ocean depths. It was the moment when Western Europe and the US finally unshackled themselves from their 20th century energy security nightmare. Show less


Iain Stewart
Series Producer:
Richard Downes
Russell Leven

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