Thursday, April 6, 2006

The coming world oil disruptions

I was in my young teens in the early 1970's when the oil embargo was used against the U.S. In the second oil embargo I was in college. Those two events really affected me and is what's driving me today to study energy supplies.

Stanford EMF: 80% Probability of Major Oil Disruption in Next Ten Years covers a study done by Hillard Huntington, Executive Director Energy Modeling Forum (EMF), Stanford University, which discusses the probabilities of another oil disruption.

Thinking about it now, this shouldn't be surprising. For example we are threatening Iran right now which could easily turn into a major oil disruption. And generally speaking, OPEC did it before (staging oil disruptions) so why wouldn't they do it again?

The thing that's really alarming is what the effect would be.

In the 1970's the recessions we had then were likely triggered by the oil embargo's. Those oil embargo's caused the price of oil to rise pretty high. Remember Carter's Windfall Profits Tax? President Enron nor Vice President Halliburton nor Secretary of State Chevron are likely to push for such a tax, but we have the same conditions today that occurred in the 1970's that prompted that tax.

In the 1970's the U.S. imported 35% of its' oil needs. Today we import 70% of our oil needs. If there were another oil disruption today, the effect on the U.S. would be far more dramatic than the effect in the 1970's.