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Energy security risks mapped

New research that evaluates worldwide energy security, has identified the G7 economies of France, Germany, Italy, Japan, UK and USA as being at ‘high risk’ in the short-term, whilst China and countries from the oil producing MENA region are highlighted as facing increasing challenges in the future.

Risk analysis and mapping firm Maplecroft has undertaken the study of short-term and long-term energy security to highlight the risks to countries as they strive to secure stable energy supplies in a time of geopolitical upheaval, dwindling traditional resources and a transition to a low carbon world.

The Energy Security (short-term) Index has been developed by Maplecroft to identify the countries most vulnerable to shocks in energy supplies and price fluctuations in the international market on timescale of days to months. It assesses immediate risks to the availability, affordability and continuity of energy supplies in 196 countries by evaluating energy imports, diversity of supplies, import security and energy costs.

Only three countries, Sierra Leone (1), Gambia (2) and Guinea Bissau (3), are categorised as ‘extreme risk’ in the short-term index. However, a further 122 nations are rated ‘high risk,’ including the G7 economies of Italy (13), Japan (73), UK (90), Germany (104), France (107) and the USA (112).

Maplecroft categorises seven countries as ‘low risk,’ with the last remaining G7 member, Canada (196), rated as having the world’s most stable short-term energy supplies. Its ranking reflects the fact that it is a net exporter of electricity and fossil fuels, with abundant natural resources and a diverse energy mix, which provides flexibility and offsets the risks of price rises. The remaining low risk countries are Australia (195), Malaysia (194), Indonesia (193), Russia (192), Saudi Arabia (191) and Norway (190).

Despite the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) holding 56 percent of the world’s proven oil reserves, the region is vulnerable in the long-term, with most countries rated ‘high risk’ by Maplecroft including: Egypt (ranked 31 out of 165), Morocco (41), Qatar (44), Saudi Arabia (45), Tunisia (53), Iran (55), Iraq (63), Kuwait (66) and UAE (79). Despite their high reserves, these countries are energy intense and face the risk of falling into a feedback cycle where high availability of fossil fuels drives demand until resources can no longer meet internal demand or reserves begin to dwindle.


•Date: 3rd June 2011 • Region: World •Type: Article • Topic: Critical infrastructure protection

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