What’s in a Pipe? NATO’s Confrontation on the 1962 Large-Diameter Pipe Embargo - Sciences Po Access content directly
Journal Articles Technology and Culture Year : 2017

What’s in a Pipe? NATO’s Confrontation on the 1962 Large-Diameter Pipe Embargo

Abstract

By the late 1950s, the Soviet Union had acquired a strong position as a world oil exporter, thanks to major discoveries in the Ural-Volga area. In order to transport their oil to strategic areas within the Union and to Europe, the Soviets devised a project to build a colossal pipeline system. This plan caused anxiety at NATO since Russian oil could be wielded as a weapon to weaken the West both militarily and economically. In order to complete the system, however, the Soviets needed large-diameter steel pipes and equipment, which they had to import from the West. Thus in 1961 the U.S. delegation at NATO proposed a comprehensive embargo of large-diameter pipes in order to delay the system’s construction. I argue that the definition of what oil pipes were as technological artifacts, as well as their final content, was ultimately shaped by the NATO debate on this U.S. proposition.

Dates and versions

hal-03399699 , version 1 (24-10-2021)

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Roberto Cantoni. What’s in a Pipe? NATO’s Confrontation on the 1962 Large-Diameter Pipe Embargo. Technology and Culture, 2017, 58 (1 (january 2017)), pp.67 - 96. ⟨10.1353/tech.2017.0002⟩. ⟨hal-03399699⟩
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