Oil Security Index: April 2014

The Oil Security Index is designed to enable policymakers and the general public to measure and compare the relative oil security of different countries around the world.

When launched in October 2013, SAFE’s Oil Security Index was hailed as an essential tool for those seeking greater insight into both what constitutes oil security, and which countries are most oil secure. The Index included then-current and historical data tracing national rankings back to 2000.

In this update, SAFE adds data through Q4 2013 and revises the rankings accordingly. The Index’s seven metrics capture three core aspects of oil security: the structural dependency of countries’ economies on oil, the economic exposure of countries to oil prices and the changes in those prices, and the physical supply security of a country’s domestic and imported oil.

This update shows numerous changes in the relative rankings versus those published in October 2013. The United States fell from 5th to 6th place, swapping with South Africa, due in part to a substantial uptick in U.S. oil demand in the second half of 2013. Brazil and Mexico both moved up, to 7th and 9th respectively, and China and Australia fell. Russia—which has historically traded places with Saudi Arabia in 12th and 13th place—once again found itself at the bottom of the rankings, while India remained in 11th place.

In addition to presenting the latest relative rankings, the quarterly updates to the Oil Security Index feature a “Global Highlights” section, providing a high-level overview of the changes in oil production, consumption, and trade flows. Important developments include surging non-OPEC production from the United States and Canada, substantial supply outages from Iran, Libya, Venezuela, and Iraq, and slowing oil-demand growth in China. There is also a spotlight on Russia, which ranked as high as 9th in 2005, but has fallen to last place in part due to its extreme reliance on oil export revenue. The Russian economy’s relatively high oil intensity, which is approximately eight times higher than the most efficient countries, also contributed to its slide in the rankings.

Explore the Oil Security Index’s interactive data and rankings, at OilSecurityIndex.org.