Series AC/288 - Study Group on the Alliance and the Problem of Oil Supplies

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Study Group on the Alliance and the Problem of Oil Supplies


  • 1972 - 1975 (Creation)

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Administrative history

The AC/288 chronological series contains the documents of the Study Group on the Alliance and the Problem of Oil Supplies. Faced with the dependence of NATO nations on oil imports from the Middle East and North Africa, the Study Group, made up of national experts and representatives of the International Staff and of the NATO military authorities, met on 13 July 1972 to consider the draft terms of reference and work programme for the study on the Alliance and the problem of oil supplies. Two sub-groups were then established to gather the necessary data on the oil requirements of the civil and military sectors: - Sub-Group 1 on Civil Oil Requirements (AC/288(WG/1)), - and Sub-Group 2 on Military Oil Requirements (AC/288(WG/2)), which fell under the International Military Staff (IMS). In accordance with the terms of reference and programme of work approved by the Council on 9 November 1972 (PO(72)412), the Group was to assess the vulnerability of NATO's overall defence capabilities, covering the armed forces, essential industry and other civil activities directly connected with defence, to an interruption of oil supplies. With the Middle East crisis, partial reductions in supplies for a certain period appeared more probable than a total interruption of oil deliveries. On 7 November 1973 the Study Group gave the Council an initial (interim) report based on OECD oil supply and consumption figures for 1971 (C-M(73)94), C-R(73)60, point III), followed on 11 June 1975 by a second report drawing on observations by the permanent representatives and the OECD statistics for 1972 (C-M(75)9), C-R(75)27, point 4). Its principal task was thus completed, and the 1980 forecast envisaged in the terms of reference was not judged to be worthwhile, so the Study Group was dissolved by the Council on 11 June 1975 (C-R(75)27, point 4).

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Scope and content

The AC/288 series comprises principally a questionnaire, reports by the two sub-groups, the draft Study Group interim report, various corrigenda and amendments, and the terms of reference, programme of work, discussions and results of meetings of the Study Group.
The documents concern the effects of an interruption or reductions in normal supplies on NATO's overall defence capabilities, the military
and civil requirements for oil necessary to maintain the defence capabilities of the Alliance, the availability of oil, and measures which might
be taken to improve the situation.

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System of arrangement

The AC/288 chronological document series is arranged by type - Document (D), Decision Sheet (DS), Note (N), Working Paper (WP) - and then by year and number.

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Conditions governing access

NATO publicly disclosed information is available for research and education purposes. Any commercial use requires the written permission of NATO. Please credit the NATO Archives should any documents be used for publication. Guidelines for the proper citation of NATO publicly disclosed information can be found on the NATO Archives website (

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This chronological document series has been issued in each of the two official languages of NATO, English and French, except for the Working Papers issued only in English.

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