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Abstract

Geologic estimates of remaining global petroleum resources place about 50% in the Persian Gulf. Production costs are estimated at $5 per barrel there, and $15 per barrel in the North Sea and Alaska. Using mathematical methods derived from depletion theory is utilized to explain the $15-$20 per barrel price band that existed from 1986 to 1999. New economic forces have displaced this previously stable pattern; a new price range of $22-to $28 may be emerging. International trade in petroleum and conventional weapons are analyzed with econometric methods; the occurrence of nuclear weapons capability in the Persian Gulf region is explored.

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