This article will focus on the prominent role played by the British Conservative government, guided since 1979 by Margaret Thatcher, in re-launching globally an energy model based on cheap fossil fuels by leveraging the newly available petroleum extracted in the North Sea. Between 1980 and 2010 global oil consumption increased by 50 per cent, while both coal and natural gas consumption nearly doubled. North Sea oil represented a crucial, if never openly acknowledged, ally for Thatcher, serving the purpose of bringing down oil prices, while at the same time achieving other crucial policy goals.The advent of the British North Sea oil weakened OPEC control of the global oil market, helped crush the resistance of the British coal miners, fed the ‘de-nationalisation’ of British energy sector, and then contributed to promote the ‘neoliberal governance’ of the EU energy sector.

Garavini, G. (2022). Thatcher’s North Sea: The Return of Cheap Oil and the ‘Neo-liberalisation’ of European Energy. CONTEMPORARY EUROPEAN HISTORY [10.1017/S0960777322000686].

Thatcher’s North Sea: The Return of Cheap Oil and the ‘Neo-liberalisation’ of European Energy

Giuliano Garavini
2022-01-01

Abstract

This article will focus on the prominent role played by the British Conservative government, guided since 1979 by Margaret Thatcher, in re-launching globally an energy model based on cheap fossil fuels by leveraging the newly available petroleum extracted in the North Sea. Between 1980 and 2010 global oil consumption increased by 50 per cent, while both coal and natural gas consumption nearly doubled. North Sea oil represented a crucial, if never openly acknowledged, ally for Thatcher, serving the purpose of bringing down oil prices, while at the same time achieving other crucial policy goals.The advent of the British North Sea oil weakened OPEC control of the global oil market, helped crush the resistance of the British coal miners, fed the ‘de-nationalisation’ of British energy sector, and then contributed to promote the ‘neoliberal governance’ of the EU energy sector.
Garavini, G. (2022). Thatcher’s North Sea: The Return of Cheap Oil and the ‘Neo-liberalisation’ of European Energy. CONTEMPORARY EUROPEAN HISTORY [10.1017/S0960777322000686].
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11590/424707
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