I blogged another article about how administration hawks see controlling middle eastern oil as a security issue a long time ago, but this one in Mother Jones has done a good job at tracing the history of this policy back to the seventies:
The administration “believes you have to control resources in order to have access to them,” says Chas Freeman, who served as U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia under the first President Bush. “They are taken with the idea that the end of the Cold War left the United States able to impose its will globally — and that those who have the ability to shape events with power have the duty to do so. It’s ideology.”
Thanks to Max for finding this.