SCRUDE: How the ‘73 oil crisis saved me, ruined you and came back fifty years later to do it all again

Oil, eh? One of the most troublesome substances known to man.

Burn it and the world goes into meltdown. Disrupt it and the world goes into meltdown. You just can’t win with oil… unless, of course, you’re in the business.

Supply disruptions hand the oil majors a golden chance to cash in on the subsequent spiralling price of their product… as the world was to discover to its cost the day Russia invaded Ukraine in 2022.

Or rather, was to re-discover. For this wasn’t the first time prices soared on the back of a war-caused oil supply crisis. It was a virtual re-run of the first great oil shock fifty years earlier.
In 1973 the upshot was the same as half a century later – a global, rocketing oil price-caused economic tailspin and the birth of a new Foreign Legion as the oil industry scrambled to find new reserves to bring online.

From all walks of life, all corners of the world they came. A legion of men answering the call to join the great ‘73 oil rush, all with but one burning ambition – to escape the worldwide economic slump, swap the dole queue for the oil crew and take the A-train to wherever this new Klondike led.

This is the slightly disconcerting account of one of them
SCRUDE Sample Chapter.pdf

How to Order

Available from 11 December 2023, SCRUDE is published in both paperback and ebook formats.

The paperback version can be obtained from the distributor,

all Amazon country sites and a wide range of online and high street book stores quoting:

ISBN 978-1-7396498-2-1

The e-book version is available through Amazon and other online book sites.

About the Author

During a thirty-year career as a print and broadcast journalist Mark Newham’s coverage of international affairs has appeared in almost every quality British newspaper, in international news magazines and on the BBC.

With foreign postings including Africa and China, Newham has combined journalism with media consultancy work for the United Nations, the World Bank and the European Union.

Prior to SCRUDE he published four books. The first, Limp Pigs and the Five-Ring Circus – an exposé of the innermost workings of China’s propaganda machine – was published in 2011 and ranked Number One in Amazon’s politics and censorship category for several weeks. Updated two years later as an e-book entitled Limp Pigs 2013, the BBC called it ‘Unique... Inspiring…’

Mark Newham can (sometimes) be contacted via or through his website – – where samples of his journalism can be found.