Geography and History of the World © 2010 Indiana Edition

Chapter 19: The Region Today: North Africa, Southwest Asia, and Central Asia

Student Web Activities

In this chapter you have learned about the global importance of this region of the world, due in part to the fact that it contains about two-thirds of the world's oil reserves. Oil is essential both for developed countries and for developing countries that are becoming industrialized and improving their economies. In this activity you will learn more about the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its influence on global oil prices.

Destination Title: OPEC

Start at the OPEC Web site.
  • Click on About US at the top of the screen. Read this brief introduction, and then click on and read the History link.
  • Click on FAQs on the left of the screen, and then click on The Oil . Explore the answers to the questions presented.
  • Click on Crude Oil in the box at the left of the screen. Read this information.

Using the information you gathered reading the above site, answer the following questions.

What is OPEC? Who are the 11 member countries?
Explain the objective of OPEC.
What exactly is crude oil?
At the end of 2004, how many barrels of crude oil existed in reserves? What was the world demand of barrels of oil per day? At this rate, calculate how many years the oil reserves will last.
As you have realized from your calculation in Question 4, the world's supply of oil will not last forever. What will happen when it runs out? Conduct additional research to find out about alternative energy sources that are being explored and/or developed. Write a one-page essay describing the alternatives that will be available to the world and what course of action you think the United States should take.
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