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L’Europe et la question énergétique

Les années 1960/1980

de Alain Beltran (Éditeur de volume) Éric Bussière (Éditeur de volume) Giuliano Garavini (Éditeur de volume)
©2016 Collections 338 Pages

Résumé

Au-delà des deux dates charnières de 1973 et 1979, il importe de considérer les évolutions qui ont touché l’Europe de l’ouest comme des mutations nécessaires dans un monde de moins en moins bipolaire. À travers ses épreuves et ses hésitations, la Communauté européenne construit malgré tout un parcours original dans le domaine énergétique. Consciente de ses faiblesses, elle n’a pas toutes les armes pour dépasser ses contradictions. Mais la période 1960/1980 lui permet au moins de poser les bases de solutions adaptées aux réalités du Vieux Continent.

Table des matières

  • Couverture
  • Titre
  • Copyright
  • Sur l’auteur
  • À propos du livre
  • Pour référencer cet eBook
  • Table des matières
  • Introduction
  • Première partie : Les années 1960 : quelle abondance ?
  • Adjusting Europe’s Energy Policies in the ‘Golden’ Oil Years
  • Fueling Modernization from the Atlantic to the Third World
  • Free from Interference, Protected from Competition?
  • Iraq and the Oil Cold War
  • Charbonnages de France entre progrès technique et régression économique : 1960-2000
  • Les débuts du nucléaire en France
  • Deuxième partie : Les chocs pétroliers des années 1970 et leurs conséquences
  • ENI and North African Oil Producing Countries During the 1970s
  • ENI and North African Oil Producing Countries During the 1970s
  • François-Xavier Ortoli et les négociations pétrolières franco-algériennes : 1970-1971
  • The EC, France and the International Energy Agency
  • Nuclear Power in the 1980s
  • Les rythmes européens du nucléaire français
  • Troisième partie : Mutations et adaptations des années 1980
  • The 1973 Oil Shock and the Institutional and Fiscal Framework for Petroleum Exploration and Production Activities in the UK North Sea
  • Recycling Oil Wealth
  • La Compagnie Française des Pétroles à l’époque du premier choc pétrolier
  • Le gaz naturel : une énergie nouvelle au centre de l’Europe entre les années 1960 et 1980 ?
  • Le fonds François Xavier Ortoli aux Archives historiques de l’Union européenne à Florence
  • Bilbiographie
  • Index
  • Titres de la collection

← 8 | 9 →

Introduction

Les chocs pétroliers, et en particulier celui de 1973, se sont inscrits dans la mémoire des peuples comme un tournant dramatique de l’histoire récente. La césure est désormais établie entre les belles périodes de croissance (les années 1960), les crises des années 1970 et les doutes de la décennie 1980. S’y ajoutent, essentiellement pour les Européens, un kaléidoscope d’images qui mêlent les autoroutes néerlandaises vidées de leurs voitures, le changement d’heure, les limitations de vitesse, les centrales nucléaires françaises, etc. Pourtant, les chocs pétroliers ne furent pas un coup de tonnerre dans un ciel serein. Comme toute crise, celle de 1973 avait ses antécédents et ses prodromes. S’il faut regarder évidemment vers le Proche et le Moyen-Orient pour comprendre l’enchaînement des faits, il est tout aussi nécessaire de prendre un peu de recul chronologique. Considérer l’Europe ensuite : un continent dépendant sur le plan énergétique, et même de plus en plus dépendant. Mais un continent qui a essayé dès les années 1960 de trouver une autre voie dans ses relations avec les pays producteurs. Et qui a en partie refusé dans la décennie 1980 l’idée d’un affrontement tout autant économique qu’idéologique entre le Vieux continent et ses fournisseurs. Même si les deux Grands, et en particulier les États-Unis, ont toute leur place dans cette période de guerre froide, on ne peut s’empêcher de souligner l’originalité des politiques française, italienne, britannique… Et par voie de conséquence, se poser la question d’une politique de la Communauté européenne sur le plan énergétique.

Les contributions rassemblées ici reprennent les exposés faits lors d’un colloque tenu à l’Université de Padoue les 18 et 19 octobre 2013 sur les Européens et les questions énergétiques. L’apport de ces spécialistes est d’un intérêt majeur pour comprendre l’évolution récente qui n’est pas sans donner un cadre aux réflexions d’aujourd’hui. En effet, les thématiques comme l’indépendance énergétique, la coopération entre producteurs et consommateurs, les échanges industriels, l’autonomie (ou la non-autonomie) des compagnies pétrolières nationales européennes par rapport aux Majors américaines… sont autant de questions qui se sont posées face à un monde qui changeait très vite. En effet, les années soixante sont marquées par la création de l’OPEP et l’indépendance de pays producteurs comme l’Algérie ; dans la décennie suivante ce sont ces mêmes producteurs qui nationalisent leurs actifs pétroliers et gaziers. La donne change brutalement alors que les pays consommateurs se sont ← 9 | 10 → rués sur un pétrole peu cher, indispensable aux mobilités nouvelles et au confort de tous les jours (pétrochimie). La vie sans pétrole n’est pas possible mais la vie avec le pétrole est devenue dès lors compliquée. Telle est l’équation nouvelle qu’il faut résoudre. Les solutions proposées ne sont pas univoques. On ne remplace pas si aisément une énergie si précieuse et si pratique. Les économies d’énergie sont un peu partout mises en avant. Mais la question se pose d’une alternative au pétrole. Le nucléaire peut en offrir une, énergie qui a déjà une histoire assez longue derrière lui. On sait que ce sera le choix majeur de la France même si d’autres pays ont plus ou moins pris le même chemin. Une autre alternative consiste à développer le pétrole dit « non-OPEP », c’est-à-dire qui ne se trouve pas dans les zones exploitées par des membres de l’Organisation des Pays Exportateurs de Pétrole et en particulier les membres arabes de ce cartel. La Mer du nord est une solution pour le Vieux Continent. Certes, les conditions d’exploitation sont difficiles, le pétrole est cher, mais l’Europe (en particulier la Grande-Bretagne et la Norvège) peuvent s’éloigner des soubresauts d’une région – le Moyen-Orient – structurellement instable.

Il reste qu’au niveau des entreprises pétrolières, des adaptations, des mutations sont également possibles sinon souhaitables. Les sociétés nationales ont changé leurs actifs, essayé certaines diversifications. Ce fut par exemple le cas du gaz naturel qui s’est fort développé dans les années 1970. Or, il n’existe pas d’OPEP du gaz et le marché est assez bien partagé entre les pays socialistes, les pays libéraux et ce qu’on appelait alors le tiers monde. A-t-on oublié les énergies nouvelles (on dirait renouvelables aujourd’hui) ? À dire vrai non mais les efforts majeurs n’ont pas porté sur le solaire, l’éolien, la géothermie, etc. Si les questions environnementales apparaissent nettement dans les années 1970 puis s’affirment dans les années 1980, elles ne sont pas encore décisives. Les chocs pétroliers ont malgré tout apporté un coup fatal à la douce illusion d’une croissance soutenue et régulière. Même si la prudence est défaillante quand les prix du baril se remettent à baisser, il reste que les Européens ne raisonnent plus après 1973/79 comme avant. Une fragilité se fait jour. La croissance elle-même est remise en question dès avant le premier choc pétrolier (publication en 1972 de Limits of growth curieusement traduit en France l’année suivante par Halte à la croissance). Même si l’euphorie n’était pas si débridée qu’on l’a dit, même si l’insouciance n’était pas le propre des Européens, il n’empêche que les années 1980 sont celles des remises en cause. Mais ici encore, entre le poids des États-Unis et les égoïsmes nationaux, l’Europe a un certain mal à se coordonner et encore plus à se faire entendre.

Au-delà des deux dates charnières de 1973 et 1979, il importe donc de considérer les évolutions qui ont touché l’Europe de l’ouest (ce qui se passe de l’autre côté du rideau de fer est tout aussi intéressant même ← 10 | 11 → s’il n’est pas dans notre propos) comme des mutations nécessaires dans un monde de moins en moins bipolaire. A travers ses épreuves et ses hésitations, la Communauté européenne construit malgré tout un parcours original dans le domaine énergétique. Consciente de ses faiblesses, elle n’a pas toutes les armes pour dépasser ses contradictions. Mais la période 1960/1980 lui permet au moins de poser les bases de solutions adaptées aux réalités du Vieux Continent.

Alain Beltran, Éric Bussière et Giuliano Garavini ← 11 | 12 →

← 12 | 13 →

PREMIÈRE PARTIE

LES ANNÉES 1960 : QUELLE ABONDANCE ?

← 13 | 14 →

← 14 | 15 →

Adjusting Europe’s Energy Policies in the ‘Golden’ Oil Years

Ruggero RANIERI

Università degli Studi di Padova

The Importance of Oil

This paper starts by outlining the key features of the shift in energy sources that occurred, worldwide, in the period between 1950 and 1973, against the background of a sharp rise in energy consumption. The rise in energy consumption between 1950 and 1960 was of 55%; between 1961 and 1970 of 60% [table 1]. Only a few areas in the world accounted for the giant share of this increase: the US, Canada, OECD Europe, the USSR, and Japan. In 1950 they covered 80%, of the world’s energy requirements; in 1970, 73%.

The importance of different energy sources changed dramatically: solid fuels’ (coal and lignite) share declined from 66% in 1945 to 62% in 1950 to 48% in 1961 to 33% in 1970. Oil on the other hand grew from 23% in 1945, to 25% 1950, to 33% in 1961 to 45% in 1971. There was also a sharp increase in the share of natural gas from 12% in 1950, to 20% in 1951.1

Considering OECD-Europe, the movement away from solid fuels, was more dramatic: its share declined from 83% (1950) to 75% (1955) to 61% (1960) to 45% (1965) to 23% (1973), whereas liquid fuels grew from 14% (1950) to 21% (1955) to 30% (1960) to 45% (1965) to 59% (1973). The importance of natural gas, hydroelectric and nuclear energy remained, overall, rather ← 15 | 16 → small.2

In the smaller Europe of the Six, the shift away from coal and lignite happened rather late in day. In 1960 it was still at nearly 60%, with oil at 30% and natural gas at 2.7%. By 1965 oil covered 48.5%, while solid fuels were at 42%. In 1973 oil, however, covered over 60% of energy requirements [table 2]: Italy and the Netherlands had moved rapidly away from coal starting in 1955 and more rapidly after 1960; they were joined, after 1965, by W. Germany, France and Belgium3 [table 5].

There were a number of economic and technological factors accounting for the shift towards oil. Clearly oil exploitation technologies made rapid advances during the period and known oil reserves also grew faster than oil production and consumption. Breakthroughs were achieved in long distance oil transportation both in terms of capacity and of costs. Oil refining achieved new impetus as did basic petrochemical production. Oil is easier than coal to store and has the dual attraction of possessing less volume, while yielding more energy per ton. The use of oil also yields superior results in terms of process control, allowing for savings in manpower.4

The same advantages, in fact even greater ones, applied to natural gas. Production of natural gas had risen rapidly after WW2 with the discovery and development of new fields in Austria, Italy and France from a level of 400 million m3 in 1946 to 5,025 million m3 in 1955. By 1959 production had doubled again and there was a further 60% increase between 1959 and 1962. By 1964 production had reached 17 billion m3. Drilling programmes were underway in various European countries, the biggest of which in the Groningen province in the Netherlands. Transport of liquefied natural gas by ship is economical. Advantages of natural gas over other fuels, including oil, are that it is readily controlled and creates ← 16 | 17 → less pollution and that it reduces capital costs through savings on storage, construction costs and the longer life of plant.5

The shift to liquid fuels was composed of a two pronged development: on one side there were certain uses, such as road, air and water transport, to which there was, already prior to 1945, no real alternative to oil. All of these expanded rapidly during the post-war years of sustained growth; equally there were other sectors, particularly industrial ones, in which oil replaced coal. In the US the switch was already under way during the interwar period, and this, plus the rise in the production of automobiles, explains the impressive level of US oil production and consumption, already before 1940.

Oil and economic growth

The shift to oil and natural gas was, thus, an important enabling factor in explaining the high growth rates of European economies, although its importance should be kept in perspective alongside many other factors.

Economic historians define the 1960s as the period in which energy intensity (i.e. energy inputs relative to GDP) reached a peak in Western Europe. The argument is that falling petroleum prices in the 1960s permitted European importing nations to expand purchases of oil without unduly burdening their balance of payments.6 Some of the factors accounting for Europe’s economic success after WW 2, such as backlog of technological innovation, cheap and abundant labour supplies, were losing some of their importance by the mid to late-1950s, and it was exactly at that point that the oil-based energy revolution materialized. Hassan and Duncan see this as facilitating structural transformation, i.e. allowing the growth of energy intensive, technologically advanced, high productivity sectors in manufacturing industry, which acted as engines of growth to the whole economy of Western economies. Whereas during ← 17 | 18 → the 1950s in all in all the major Western European economies, with the exception of Italy, the growth in manufacturing output was stronger than the growth in energy consumption, during the period between 1960 and 1972 growth in manufacturing energy consumption was more rapid than that of manufacturing output, meaning that the use of energy became more intensive. After the oil shock of 1973, however, the trend was rapidly reversed and the growth in energy consumption slowed down more rapidly.7

Structural change in the manufacturing sector was both cause and consequence of these changes. There were two areas of growth in the manufacturing sector in Western Europe: on one side the rise of consumer durables and, on the other, the strong increase in capital goods. In WG, UK, Italy and France the main thrust for industrial growth came from the capital goods sector: in WG and in Italy, for example, between 1950 and 1963/4 the index of production for capital goods rose respectively from 100 to 249 and from 100 to 243, whereas corresponding indexes for consumption goods rose to 178 and 209.8

According to Kirby on the forefront of innovation were petrochemicals, chemical engineering, synthetic materials, heavy electrics and electronics. To these we might add, iron and steel and cement. All these industries grew in response to rapidly growing domestic and foreign markets and they were characterized by an increasing degree of concentration. These industries were also the most energy intensive. The assumption is that they were also engaged in improving their energy productivity; in other words the increase in energy consumption due to structural change would have been much greater but for energy efficient measures as well as for the decline of old sectors such as smokestack industries. There was another component: the energy sources most used in the fastest growing industries were those most rapidly falling in cost, so that there was a substantial reduction in the cost of every additional unit of energy consumed. Industrial fuel oil prices fell by about one half between 1960 and 1970 in France, the Netherlands and Italy, although by less in WG and the UK. Furthermore, between 1956 and 1970 the cost of petroleum prices fell relative to the price of both labour and capital equipment. Thus, fuel substitution and the relative fall in energy costs, released resources for firms.9 ← 18 | 19 →

Price considerations were not the only ones for firms wishing to diversify. Oil and natural gas present advantages on many fronts. There are many examples of industries for which the introduction of new, labour saving, technology, was associated with the switch to oil or gas. In the Italian cement industry the switch to rotary kilns is a case in point. Also in Italian primary steel making, natural gas was used in open hearth furnaces, enabling better process control.10 On the whole, however, the link between technological change and fuel efficiency may have led to differing results. Certainly the scale of some new energy-intensive equipment in steel and chemicals could not have been countenanced but with falling energy prices. For example strip mills of Generation III commissioned in Japan and Europe at the end of the 1960s were huge, extending to the upper limits total mill power and economies of scale, incurring overall huge energy as well as structural engineering costs. These massive plants became a liability when energy prices rose in the 1970s, unfortunately at a time when some of them had yet to become operational. The next technological waves in strip rolling were aimed at smaller, more flexible plants, with much lower energy inputs.11

Changes in the international oil market

Of key importance in the international oil market was the rise of the Middle East. The average daily output of a Middle Eastern well reached 3,860 barrels in 1958 compared to 250 in Venezuela and 12 in the USA. Middle Eastern fields produced 28% of world production in 1965 compared to 7% in 1938. Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Iran and Iraq, each the preserve of a consortium of MNOCs (Multinational oil corporations), exported, in 1960, 233 Mt of oil, more than 50% of all the oil moving in international trade. While the Middle East prospered and dominated the market, during the 1960s there were new discoveries of oil in Nigeria, Egypt, Algeria and Libya. In 1955 Libya did not produce any oil; by 1970 it had become the 6th producing country.12

The price factor was clearly of key importance. Oil products sold at low market prices throughout the Sixties, driving the terms of trade for ← 19 | 20 → the oil exporting countries downwards, while maximizing the benefits for consumers [see tables 3 and 4]. Wholesale price indices for all goods closely paralleled those for oil. The landed price of crude oil in Europe exceeded that in Japan, but neither price differed significantly from the wellhead price in the USA.13

MNOC’s were often referred to as the Seven Sisters. Some authors put their number to eight, including CFP (Compagnie française de pétrole), which, however, was much smaller than the others and often acted independently from them. The others were: SONJ (Standard oil New Jersey, then Exxon-ESSO); AIOC (Anglo-Iranian oil company) later BP; Royal Dutch Shell, later SHELL; GULF (Gulf oil company); TEXACO (Texas oil company); SOCAL (Standard oil of California) later Chevron; Socony Vacuum later MOBIL. MNOC’s reacted to the increase in demand with technological innovation and large-scale exploration. They negotiated long-term contracts with supplying countries and organized profit sharing schemes or sometimes joint ventures. They were challenged by “independents” (US smaller oil companies) and by state companies, including Italy’s ENI. However, the real challenge came from the producing nations which increasingly made their power felt.

Between 1950 and 1966 the big Seven provided approximately 50% of world output. Their share of refined products capacity was higher, nearing 70%. If one excludes US, Soviet and Canadian oil then their share rises to 80% of output, reserves and refining capacity. By 1972 state oil companies (including France’s and Italy’s) and independents had made gains, but they still purchased most of their crude from the MNOCS.14

The MNOC regulated the market by imposing their prices. The standard was the so-called “posted price” of crude, but increasing competition and overproduction in the market meant that MNOCs during the 1950s resorted to a variety of concealed discounts from it: real prices were falling to a level of 20 or 30% below the posted price. Moreover pressures were building up in the US from independent producers to stop imports of foreign oil by the MNOCs, until, in 1959, the Eisenhower administration imposed a quota program (Mandatory Oil Import Program) which set imports of oil a 13% ceiling of the US domestic market. In September 1959 the MNOCs unilaterally reduced the posted price of crude by 5%, followed one year later, in August 1960, by another 10% reduction. This hurt the host countries in the Middle East and Venezuela, the revenue of ← 20 | 21 → which was tied to that price and prompted a reaction which precipitated the formation of OPEC.15

Résumé des informations

Pages
338
Année
2016
ISBN (PDF)
9782807600317
ISBN (ePUB)
9782807600324
ISBN (MOBI)
9782807600331
ISBN (Broché)
9782807600300
DOI
10.3726/978-2-8076-0031-7
Langue
français
Date de parution
2016 (Septembre)
Published
Bruxelles, Bern, Berlin, Frankfurt am Main, New York, Oxford, Wien, 2016. 338 p., 19 tabl., 17 graph.

Notes biographiques

Alain Beltran (Éditeur de volume) Éric Bussière (Éditeur de volume) Giuliano Garavini (Éditeur de volume)

Alain Beltran est directeur de recherche au Centre national de la recherche scientifique (UMR SIRICE). Ses recherches portent essentiellement sur l’histoire de l’énergie depuis la fin du XIXe siècle, l’histoire d’entreprise, l’évolution des grands services publics et l’innovation. Éric Bussière est professeur à l’Université Paris-Sorbonne, chaire Jean Monnet d’histoire de la construction euro­péenne, et directeur de l’UMR SIRICE. Ses travaux portent sur l’histoire des entre­prises et des relations économiques internationales et sur l’histoire de la construction euro­péenne. Giuliano Garavini est Senior Research Fellow à l’Université de New York Abu Dhabi. Il est l’auteur de After Empires. European Integration, Decolonization and the Challenge from the Global South 1957–1986 (2012). Il écrit actuellement une histoire de l’OPEP.

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Titre: L’Europe et la question énergétique