Creating people's geographies
Ghawar Is Dead!
by Matthew S. Miller | 7 March 2007
The Wide-Spread Use of Advanced Extraction Techniques are Killing the Mother of All Oil Fields
“How could we drink up the sea? Who gave us the sponge to wipe away the entire horizon?
What were we doing when we unchained this earth from its sun?”
– Friedrich Nietzsche, The Gay Science (1882)
“My father rode a camel. I drive a car. My son flies a plane. His son will ride a camel.”
– Anonymous Saudi Sheik (1982)
“Ghawar, Ghawar she gave and gave; They sucked her dry like mankind’s slave;
The Sheiks told us that big oil lie; And all those people had to die.”
– Lyrical History – 2082
I’ve watched in shock and awe in recent days, shaking my head and wringing my hands. Yet another unremarkable narrative of celebrity intrigue entered the echo chamber of the mainstream media system and its 24/7- positive- feedback- amplification-loop to emerge as biggest news event – no, the earth-shaking cultural event of the year. This time it is…Anna Nicole is dead!
… It was also announced recently, without the same media feeding frenzy, that another queen of mass-culture is dead too. Few of us even know her name. Rather than being the personification of the contemporary zeitgeist, she is one of the cornerstones of what Marx called global capitalism’s base. She was an integral part of the concrete material conditions that make our peculiar form of social organization possible. Her name is Ghawar, and she is the mother-of-all oil fields. She was once a veritable sea of light sweet crude 174 miles long and 12 miles wide, under the sands of the eastern province of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), and now she is dead.