Securing America's Future Energy

SAFE Oil Security Index Spotlights Norway as Oil Exporter Limits Economic Risks During Price Downturn

Contact: Ellen Carey
Number: 202-461-2382
Nordic country better prepared than most exporters to weather low price environment thanks to strict handling of its oil revenue, diversified economy, and reduced oil consumption through accelerated adoption of electric vehicles. 

Washington, D.C. – Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE) released today the third quarterly installment of its Oil Security Index for 2015, measuring the oil security of sixteen countries around the world.

Countries are measured on key indicators, such as their structural dependence on oil, economic exposure to the global oil market, and capacity to respond to oil supply disruptions.

This latest Index update shines a light on Norway, which was added to the Index rankings in this year’s second quarter update. The Nordic exporter stands out among oil-producing nations for its proactive approach to avoid the “oil curse,” in which the economy and government become overly reliant on crude revenues at the expense of economic diversity.

Norway has taken steps to reduce its vulnerability to shocks in the global oil market by encouraging more efficient consumption at home and lowering the relative importance of oil to its balance of trade. Its state oil fund, managing over $900 billion in assets, is the largest of its kind and has strict spending limits that encourage continued growth and resilience, even when oil prices, and therefore revenues, are low. Norway has also worked to mitigate its own reliance on oil, establishing strong incentives for alternative fuel vehicles, particularly electric vehicles (EVs), and building out public EV charging infrastructure.

“Norway ranks high on the Index because it has shown that it understands the risks of overreliance on oil as a both an economic driver and a transportation fuel,” said SAFE President and CEO Robbie Diamond. “By promoting fuel diversity and efficiency at home, as well as limiting oil’s ability to influence the broader economy through smart management of its oil revenues, Norway is one of the most energy secure countries in the Index, able to insulate itself from price shocks on the global oil market that can otherwise be extremely destabilizing and damaging.”

The United States ranks ninth in this installment of the Index, due in part to continued domestic production growth despite the ongoing drop in oil prices. Year-over-year growth for the United States was at 13 percent at the end of Q1, though 2015 is expected to show far less dramatic increases for the remainder of the year. Despite a 50 percent decrease in the domestic rig count, between October 2014 and the end of Q1 2015, hedging and the leveraged structure of many U.S. shale drillers has kept oil flowing to generate cash flow. Fuel consumption per capita increased, but only slightly.

Core OPEC countries sustained production growth in line with their drive to maintain market share. Saudi Arabia posted an increase in output of 2.5 percent between Q4 and Q1, while UAE and Kuwait increased supply by 3.2 percent and 1.1 percent respectively. Together with Angola, these countries brought online an extra 0.4 mbd of supply. Unplanned oil supply outages increased by 0.8 mbd in Q1, fueled by stoppages in Libya and Nigeria, as well as a contract dispute in the Saudi-Kuwait shared production zone.

Additional highlights from the latest Oil Security Index include:

  • Brazilian oil production grew 16.5 percent year-over-year, continuing its upward trend despite scandals surrounding national oil company Petrobras.
  • Mexico’s oil production continued its decline, exacerbated by poor weather in Q1 2015. The country saw production drop 5.6 percent, or 0.1 mbd, between Q4 and Q1, while lower than expected economic growth weakened domestic demand, down 4.1 percent year-over-year.
  • Japanese oil demand also declined quarter-over-quarter and year-over-year by 6.7 percent and 5.8 percent respectively.

The sixteen countries of the Oil Security Index rank as follows:

1.South Africa

2. Norway

3. Japan

4. Germany

5. France

6. United Kingdom

7. Canada

8. Australia

9. United States

10. Mexico

11. China

12. Brazil

13. Indonesia

14. India

15. Saudi Arabia

16. Russia

To learn more about the Oil Security Index, a project of SAFE and Roubini Global Economics (RGE), visit The online tool is updated quarterly and contains an interactive map featuring multiple indicators that provide an overall understanding of a nation’s complete oil security landscape.

About Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE)
Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE) is a nonpartisan organization that aims to reduce America’s dependence on oil and improve U.S. energy security to bolster national security and strengthen the economy. SAFE advocates for expanded domestic production of U.S. oil and gas resources, continued improvements in fuel efficiency, and in the long-term, breaking oil’s stranglehold on the transportation sector through alternatives like natural gas for heavy-duty trucks and plug-in electric vehicles. In 2006, SAFE joined with General P.X. Kelley (Ret.), 28th Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps, and Frederick W. Smith, Chairman, President, and CEO of FedEx Corporation, to form the Energy Security Leadership Council (ESLC), a group of business and former military leaders committed to reducing U.S. oil dependence.

About Roubini Global Economics (RGE)
Roubini Global Economics (RGE) is an independent, global macro-economic strategy research and country risk firm founded in 2004 by renowned economist Nouriel Roubini. RGE research interprets global economic signals into practical macro-strategy insight for a wide range of financial and policy professionals. RGE’s Country Risk product offers a unique approach to measuring country risk, delivering analysis that is consistent across time and ignores market noise. Our research approach broadens our clients’ understanding of global economies and markets by illustrating vulnerabilities and risks; giving them constructive frameworks for clarity and helping them to make more informed decisions. RGE is headquartered in New York and also has an office in London.


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