IAGS logo Energy Security
Prepared by the
Institute for the Analysis of Global Security

July 12, 2004

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Useful Reference:

Iraq Pipeline Watch

Oil attacks target Iraq recovery

Iraq: Sabotage of oil, power infrastructure may be an 'inside job'

Iraq: Bomb sets pipeline afire

Slashing the West's oil arteries

Incitement to Jihad on Saudi Government-Controlled TV

Saudi oil targeted, experts say

Flight of foreigners a serious threat to Saudi Arabia

Western Expatriates Flee Saudi Arabia

Al-Qaeda steals Saudi police cars for expat attacks

Attack on gas pipeline in Pakistan

Oil pipeline ruptures in southern Russia, authorities suspect terrorism

Islamists kill 98 in Ingushetia (near Chechen border)

Anti-terror drill for chinese oil tankers held

Nigeria: Oil workers threaten to shut down oil installations

Islamic Warlord fuels Nigeria oil delta fight

WAC Global Services report: Shell actions feed Nigeria violence

China pays a price for cheaper oil

Divisions over terror threat in Malacca Straits

Paul Roberts: The undeclared oil war

BW: Why isn't big oil drilling more?

Oil firm warns of Russian risks

Lukoil Opens Office in Dubai, Wants to Stop Oil Sales in Russia

North Korea: “Give Us 2,000,000kW of Electricity”

Iran summons Qatar's ambassador to protest naval attack on its boat

Paris arrests 'used to seal Iran deals'

Africa oil boom presents challenges

Sudan: crisis in Darfur

Sudan: oil concession holders

Army tents plug into solar power

Thermal Depolymerization: Anything into oil

Electricity from coal GE Energy Ups Ante in Coal Gasification

Breathing new life into coal industry

Electricity as a transportation fuel DaimlerChrysler's plug-in hybrid electric van

Hybrid Vehicles

Car list: Top Ten Fuel Misers

Fuel Cell Developers

Back Issues

IN THIS ISSUE: (summaries below, click links for full articles)
Lessons learned

Iraq's Oil Sector One Year After Liberation
Iraq's oil could be the most critical element in determining the success or failure of the reconstruction effort, but the recent attacks on two major pipelines and the assassination of a top oil executive illustrates the fragility of Iraq's oil-export sector. In a study for the Brookings Institution Gal Luft of the Institute for the Analysis of Global Security urges the U.S. to view the pipeline war as a high priority and to provide additional funding to bring Iraqi oil back on-line on a larger scale and with greater reliability.

Going for the jugular: Oil Kamikaze
In the past two months no fewer than a dozen people in Iraq and Saudi Arabia demonstrated in three separate incidents their willingness to die for the cause of hurting the U.S economy in what appears to be a new phase in the war on terror. Unlike scores of martyrdom seeking suicide terrorists who have killed themselves throughout the world in recent years these ten had a goal which extended beyond plain murder. Their target was the global energy market, or more specifically oil -- in the words of al Qaeda "the feeding to the artery of the life of the Crusader nation".

Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) - an oil blood bank
Were a major oil supply disruption to occur, primarily as a result of a catastrophic terror attack on a major oil facility in the Persian Gulf, there would be nothing but the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) to stop the price of oil from going through the ceiling.
In light of the situation in the Middle East it is advisable to continue to fill the SPR and bring it to its full capacity of 700 million barrels.
Were the SPR expanded beyond its current capacity, and were Europe and Asia encouraged to establish similarly large oil banks, the SPR could begin to serve as a liquidity mechanism. While certainly costly in the short term, expanding the U.S., Europe, and Asia's SPR's to one billion barrels of oil each would have the long term benefit of detering OPEC from manipulating supply levels. The primary portion of each of those SPR's would serve as a blood bank to be accessed only in times of emergency, while the secondary reserves held in storage could be released at will to compensate for supply reductions on the part of OPEC. This would send a signal that the oil weapon can no longer be used to coerce oil consuming countries.

Reagan's way of war
In mobilizing technology to win a world war President Reagan emulated the success of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt who had decided during World War II to develop the nuclear bomb as the ultimate weapon against which no conventional weapons could compete. Both presidents led the free world in a war against a ruthless enemy determined to change the existing world order and bring an end to the west's way of life. Both presidents used America's ingenuity and the power of technology to bring about the final defeat of the challenger. How can we apply that lesson today?

Implications of U.S. dependence on Middle East oil
On July 1, 2004, IAGS advisor R. James Woolsey, former director of the CIA, addressed The Washington Institute's Special Policy Forum. He outlined the challenges to national security that arise as a result of dependence on oil from unstable/hostile regions, and discussed avenues to reduce this dependence. He highlighted the fact that transportation fuel accounts for the bulk of U.S. oil consumption, and pointed out that plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, and waste to fuel technologies can significantly contribute to reducing dependence on oil.

On the technology front

Comparing Hydrogen and Electricity for Transmission, Storage and Transportation
A new study titled "Carrying the Energy Future: Comparing Hydrogen and Electricity for Transmission, Storage and Transportation" by the Seattle based Institute for Lifecycle Environmental Assessment (ILEA,) evaluated the energy penalties incurred in using hydrogen to transmit energy as compared to those incurred using electricity.
The report's main premise is that since hydrogen is not an energy source but an energy carrier its economic and environmental qualities should be compared to those of electricity, the only other commonplace energy carrier. It therefore compares the actual energy available when hydrogen and electricity carriers are employed and finds that electricity delivers substantially greater end use energy, concluding that "electricity offers more energy efficient options that might preclude mass-scale emergence of hydrogen technologies."

Study: Coal based methanol is cheapest fuel for fuel cells
A recently completed study by University of Florida researchers for the Georgetown University fuel cell program assessed the the future overall costs of various fuel options for fuel cell vehicles. The primary fuel options analyzed by the study were hydrogen from natural gas, hydrogen from coal, and methanol from coal. The study concluded that methanol from coal was the cheapest option, by a factor of almost 50%.

Out of the box

Distance based auto insurance
Also known as Per Mile Auto insurance, Mile Based Car insurance, Per Mile premiums, or Pay as you drive insurance, Distance based auto insurance aims to convert a large fixed cost of auto ownership into a variable cost of automobile use. Large fixed costs and low marginal costs create an incentive to drive more. If insurance costs the same whether 10,000 miles are driven or 20,000, then that insurance costs half as much per mile if one drives the 20,000 miles. On the other hand, high variable costs provide a financial incentive to reduce total miles driven.

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