The Lawfare Podcast: Oil Wars in Myth and Reality, with Emily Meierding

By Jen Patja Howell
Monday, May 16, 2022, 5:01 AM

During the past couple of months, since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, there have been several claims that Russia was invading its neighbor to seize its oil and gas resources. And even in the cases where pundits were claiming that Russia was not doing this, they would often phrase it as, “This is not yet another oil war.” But do oil wars happen at all?

David Priess sat down with the woman who has literally written the book on this: Emily Meierding, assistant professor at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California. She has argued that countries do not launch major conflicts to acquire hydrocarbon resources because the costs of foreign invasion, territorial occupation, international retaliation and damage to oil company relations deter even the most powerful countries from doing so. They talked about the myth of oil wars, about the logic behind why they will not happen and about why it is that the Russian invasion of Ukraine probably has very little to do with hydrocarbons at all.