Energy Nationalism

July 2007 • Volume 1, Issue 7
Do petrostates threaten global energy security?
By Peter Behr

Introduction

Presidents Hugo Chávez of Venezuela and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran, right, raise their fists in anti-U.S. solidarity. Venezuela's seizure of foreign oil companies' assets reflects a new chapter in global oil politics; Iran nationalized foreign oil firms in the 1950s. (AFP Photo/Juan Barreto)
Presidents Hugo Chávez of Venezuela and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran, right, raise their fists in anti-U.S. solidarity. Venezuela's seizure of foreign oil companies' assets reflects a new chapter in global oil politics; Iran nationalized foreign oil firms in the 1950s. (AFP Photo/Juan Barreto)

A world thirsting for imported oil and gas is seeking new supplies in Central Asia and Africa, where many nations have nationalized their energy resources. In a dramatic reversal from 30 years ago, government-owned or controlled petroleum companies today control 77 percent of the world's 1.1 trillion barrels of oil reserves. While the emergence of these rising petrostates has helped diversify the world's energy sources, many are considered oil “hot spots” — vulnerable to disruption from international terrorists or domestic dissidents. In addition, many of the petrostates are blending politics and energy into a new energy nationalism, rewriting the rules of the world's energy markets and restricting international oil corporations' operations. Russia's confrontational energy policies alarm its neighbors, and critics say a booming China is combing the world for access to oil and gas resources without concern for suppliers' corruption or human rights violations. Many also worry that growing competition for dwindling oil supplies will lead to greater risks of international conflict.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Oil and Gasoline Prices
Jun. 22, 2012  U.S. Oil Dependence
Nov. 01, 2011  Future of the Gulf States
Jan. 04, 2008  Oil Jitters Updated
Jul. 2007  Energy Nationalism
Sep. 30, 2005  Domestic Energy Development
Jan. 24, 2003  Oil Diplomacy
Aug. 07, 1998  Oil Production in the 21st Century
Aug. 23, 1991  Oil Imports
Oct. 30, 1987  Persian Gulf Oil
Apr. 04, 1986  Oil Prices
Dec. 23, 1983  Quest for Energy Independence
Sep. 23, 1983  OPEC: 10 Years After the Arab Oil Boycott
May 29, 1981  Western Oil Boom
Aug. 25, 1978  Oil Imports
Feb. 10, 1978  Oil Antitrust Action
Dec. 17, 1976  Alaskan Development
May 17, 1974  Arab Oil Money
Mar. 15, 1974  Oil Taxation
Jul. 18, 1973  Offshore Oil Search
Mar. 28, 1973  Persian Gulf Oil
Nov. 01, 1972  Gasoline Prices
Oct. 14, 1970  Fuel Shortages
Nov. 12, 1969  Alaskan Oil Boom
Dec. 11, 1968  Oil Shale Development
Oct. 26, 1960  World Oil Glut
Sep. 10, 1958  Middle East Oil
Oct. 30, 1951  Oil Nationalization
Aug. 11, 1950  Oil Imports
Apr. 23, 1947  Oil of the Middle East
Jan. 22, 1946  Offshore Oil
Mar. 09, 1944  Oil Supply
Dec. 24, 1935  Oil in World Politics
May 07, 1931  Control of Production in the Oil Industry
Mar. 27, 1929  The Oil Leasing Policy of the New Administration
Jun. 08, 1927  Oil Conservation and Stabilization
Feb. 08, 1926  The Mexican Land and Petroleum Laws
Apr. 18, 1925  The Price of Gasoline
Feb. 11, 1924  Background of the Oil Lease Cases
Sep. 01, 1923  Gasoline
BROWSE RELATED TOPICS:
Exports and Imports
Oil and Natural Gas