The Nature Of Hydrocarbons: Industrial Ecology, Resource Depletion, And Politics Of Renewability In Trinidad And Tobago
AuthorCampbell, Jacob David
AdvisorSheridan, Thomas E.
Committee ChairSheridan, Thomas E.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractOne of the first commercial oil wells in the world was drilled in southwest Trinidad, and the century of hydrocarbon production that followed has shaped the region's social and physical landscape. The Shell Oil Company built the town of Point Fortin to be its oilfield headquarters in this territory, and through the first half of the 1900s the company was a pervasive employer, sponsor and overseer in the town. In recent decades, Point Fortin's oil refinery has closed down and the Atlantic Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Corporation began operating its facility on a nearby site. Corresponding with Trinidad and Tobago's structural adjustment period, this transition ushered in a new labor regime and community relations model that have reconfigured the relationship among Point Fortin residents, major petroleum companies, and the state. This dissertation utilizes an ethnohistorical approach to illuminate how livelihoods, sense of place, and expectations for the future have changed through the town's dynamic 100-year encounter with petro-industrialization. It explores the distinct features of oil and natural gas, tracing the particular ways they animate and constrain the social, political and industrial networks of which they are part. These two fossil fuels behave very differently, from the communities where they are produced and processed, to the global market. Attending to the materiality of the resources themselves yields insights into the assemblage of machines, bodies, logics, and institutions that constitutes the industrial ecology of Trinidad and Tobago.
Degree ProgramGraduate College