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Oil has always been identifed as a "strategic" commodity, and attracted the interest of governments. This interest has frequently been articulated in terms of "control" or "security of supply" - terms whose exact meaning is seldom clearly needed.
Increased dependence on oil from the Gulf - today sometimes dubbed an "addiction" - accentuated the security prole of oil. The possibility of an interruption of oil supplies was considered to have potentially catastrophic consequences for the industrial countries. However, the international oil market has always proven to be resilient and efficient in redistributing flows of available oil to satisfy demand.Oil has very much behaved as a transparently traded commodity, which any party can get for the going price.