The term oil security can mean different things to different countries. For some—particularly those almost exclusively reliant on imports—physical supply security takes precedence over nearly any other measure. A major oil-production outage in a key supplier can result in steep inventory draws over a period of several months. This was the case for much of Europe during the Libyan Civil War in 2011. For other countries, physical supplies may be more dependable, but overall dependence on oil and inefficient use of oil leave their economies exposed to high and volatile oil prices. This is arguably the case for the United States, where oil price shocks remain a serious concern in spite of falling import levels.
To develop a comparable, quantitative measure of oil security, the Index uses seven metrics that capture the three aspects of oil security; the structural dependency of a country’s economy on oil, a country’s economic exposure to the price of oil and changes in this price, and the security of a country’s oil supplies. Taken together, this comprehensive set of indicators provides a robust assessment of a country’s relative vulnerability to changing conditions in the global oil market. In this iteration of the Index, the following countries are ranked; Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, India, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
The Oil Security Index is also hosted on an interactive website: http://oilsecurityindex.org
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