Hello, Lebanon. It’s me, your friendly Green Patriot. For those of us who are familiar with the Gulf states, we know that their main export and economic staple is oil. Naturally, this generates LOTS of foreign investment and yes, foreign political intervention. And yes, the oil business is very profitable. However, oil is a non-renewable source of energy that is running out. Tick tock, tick tock.

The politics and economies of Gulf states are shaped around the oil industry. Let’s take Saudi Arabia as an example. The country’s political stance on international issues is designed to protect its “oil relationships.” Oil is the source from which profits are generated for the state. It is also the main source around which jobs are structured. Nor is Saudi Arabia an exception; most Gulf states are like this. As it stands, the Gulf states are very dependent on oil as a source that creates jobs, and are also dependent on other countries for economic survival. Indeed, they export oil for a living.

My questions are these: When the oil runs out, (and it is due to do so in our relatively near future) what will the Gulf States do then? Do they think their foreign business partners will stick around after the oil has run out? How will they survive? What jobs will be available, what FDI will be available, and with what money will they be able to run their countries if their main source of economic survival runs out?

If the Gulf States do not diversify their economies, they will end up pumping their own countries dry with little to show for it in the end.  If they diversify and expand their economy, the will have more political and economic independence, more jobs for their own people, and will have less to worry about in terms of what to do when the oil supply ends. Just a thought.