Friday, February 25, 2011

Unrest in MidEast-Africa 3: Oil supply gap

The continuing political stalemate in Libya and sporadic unrest in other parts of Middle East-North Africa (MENA) like Bahrain, Yemen, Iran and others are increasing the geopolitical risks of world oil supply gap. Some traders are getting ready that Libya's oil output of 1.7 M barrels per day (bpd) would be totally shut down later if the political crisis will continue.

Here's a graph from The Economist this week, Oil pressure rising. Russia and the US remains the world's top oil producer but Saudi Arabia has the most or the biggest spare capacity.

Oil supply shocks will be an endless issue and reality for the world. There are a dozen or more reasons why world oil prices can go up anytime, like political unrest in one major oil exporting country, or a threat of war in the region, or prolonged cooling and bitter winter in the northern hemisphere.

(picture from today's yahoo news). BIG governments generally control the supply of oil worldwide. Their pricing therefore, is subject to politics, politicians and dictators. Ordinary people can only aspire to reduce (but not totally eradicate) their dependence on oil for their mobility and electricity needs.

And it is here where the development and mass production of more fuel efficient cars will be gaining more prominence. Mainly for economic reasons, and not to "save the planet." People's mobility across communities, countries and continents, is part of human freedom.

High mobility of people, their goods and services, at the least cost possible is a goal that science and business innovations will seek to attain. The free market system will give the private enterprises leeway to attain it.

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