The Swedish Oil Weapon : Storage of fuel in Sweden during the Cold War - Energy security and Environmentally related aspects

University essay from Uppsala universitet/Institutionen för arkeologi och antik historia

Abstract: The thesis analyses how the system of oil and fuel storage was created, and applied in Sweden during the Cold War. The investigation focuses on the period 1938-1998 and considers the vital role of fossil fuel during a period when Sweden declared neutrality and independence. This period also includes a phase of divestment of some of the state-owned stores. The project is partly based on original research in several archives including the Swedish Geological Survey, the War Archives of Sweden, the archive of the city of Stockholm, and relevant state agencies. Fuel was a means to security of supply, and how current policies interacted, as well as the extent to which it was perceived as a vital part of the nation’s current security politics. In particular, how the storage of oil, on a large scale, demanded adjustments of the physical Scandinavian bedrock, which in turn required new technology is examined. The study follows the forthcoming of both an organisation and a new set of knowledge illustrating how the practice of storing oil, in itself an unstable fluid changing characteristics over time, created a surrounding social network. The thesis also reviews the environmental awareness and ensuing concerns relating to the stores. The oil storage created a whole range of new specialists and experts, as well as academic fields, which all converged around the storage of oil. The long-term storage required regulations and monitoring, resulting in creation of new areas of expertise both within the companies obliged to store oil, and also within relevant state agencies. In addition, supervising authorities developed, typically governmental agencies, of which one was also assigned to dismantling the stores. The thesis discusses the political climate motivating the dismantling of the stores relating to contingency planning and civil defence, tracing the discourse until today when stores are now being re-activated.

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