Saturday, January 10, 2015

Oil's Fall Is a Ticking Time Bomb for Some Countries

By John W. Schoen

In the U.S., lower oil prices mean falling gas prices, which is a cause to rejoice. For many other parts of the world, oil's collapse to five-year lows isn't something to celebrate. Instead, it could be a reason to take to the streets.  Crude prices were lower Tuesday after OPEC repeated its refusal on Monday to cut oil output despite fears of a looming glut and a UAE official rebuffed calls for an emergency meeting to fix prices. The recent stance marks an about-face from the cartel's decades-old policy of tightening supplies to support prices.

Since peaking at just over $100 a barrel this summer, prices have fallen by more than 40 percent, including a slide last week that wiped out about $8, or more than 10 percent.  Oil consumers, from motorists at the gas pumps to energy-hungry economies such as those of China and the United States, are enjoying the windfall of cheaper crude. Producers, on the other hand, are bracing for a sudden, sharp loss of tens of billions in revenues......"Continued price declines would for some countries and companies make an already difficult situation even worse."

Venezuela.......Russia......Kazakhstan......OPEC.....That capacity to impose and maintain social order also varies widely, regardless of where oil prices are headed. Some oil-dependent countries, including Iraq and Libya, are already experiencing civil conflict, so any potential for unrest is already being felt..... Nigeria.....smaller African countries....Equatorial Guinea..........To Read More.....

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