Publications: Notes at the Margin

Rethinking Energy Security (November 11, 2019)


Energy security programs are approaching their fiftieth anniversary. They have changed little over time. Meanwhile, markets and global circumstances are very different. For this reason, it is time to review the entire issue.


The review of energy security should not be confined to policy geeks because the implications extend across the energy spectrum. Investors, banks, financial markets, producers, refiners, traders, and even consumers have significant exposures. Consumers will likely be the biggest winners. Commodity exchanges and nonprofit policy organizations such as Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), and possibly even the International Energy Agency stand to be the largest losers.


The examination of energy security may also require a change in how OPEC actions are considered. For more than forty years, analysts have focused on the production volumes of OPEC countries. Now attention may need to be put instead on the amount of oil sold because some producing countries will likely produce to sell oil and to build strategic stockpiles located outside the Middle East.


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