Year of Award


Document Type


Degree Type

Master of Arts (MA)

Degree Name


Department or School/College

Department of Geography

Committee Chair

Jeffrey A. Gritzner

Commitee Members

Ardeshir Kia, Marc S. Hendrix


Azerbaijan, Central Asia, human rights, oil, terrorism


University of Montana


In the last fifty years global consumption of petroleum has increased by more than a factor of six, by the year 2000 daily consumption was at 76 million barrels/day. The United States is accountable for nearly one quarter of the daily oil total, which represents only 40 percent of our total energy consumption. In a given year the world uses enough oil to fill a lake ten miles long, nine miles wide and 60 feet deep, the United States consuming roughly one-quarter of that amount. While many of the environmental costs of this consumption are realized domestically, such as increased air pollution and the associated health effects and related costs, there are great ramifications for the native populations in areas where petroleum is extracted, shipped and processed. In effort to cushion it's supply of oil the U.S. has aggressively pursued new sources of petroleum, through both diplomatic and military means. The result of these actions has brought about new international relationships, many of which are less than favorable and directly tied to an increase in terrorism. Central Asia, in it's close geographic ties with the former Soviet Union, China, and India has become a battle ground not only for geo-political conflict but also between multi-national corporations that have great stakes in this, "New Great Game of Oil." China, Russia and India are all rapidly increasing their demand for petroleum. Central Asia, with it's proven reserves and close proximity to the large reserves of the Middle East has become the new game board with its citizens and environment being forced by outside influences into pollution and international conflict.



© Copyright 2006 James Lawson Chapman