Map of isis for Oil in the Middle East. By the 1920s, the Middle East surpassed Latin America as a major oil-producing reoil 617 The production of refined oil and petrochemicals remains the world’s major energy industry, despite alternative resources. gion and became a key to world politics and economics due to its vast petroleum reserves. In the years after World War I, oil in the Middle East became an important international issue and the world’s major petroleum companies sought to find the richest deposits in the region. After the war, the Ottoman Empire disintegrated and the British and the French divided the region into protectorates. Both European countries were interested in potential oil deposits in the Middle East, particularly in Iraq. The oil industry in the region came to be dominated by the Turkish Petroleum Company (TPC). Map of isis 2016.