2012 International Index of Energy Security Risk

2012 International Index of Energy Security Risk

China is sitting atop a potentially huge reserve of shale gas according to a recent estimate from the Energy Information Administration (EIA). EIA also reports potentially very large shale resources in Brazil, South Africa, Mexico, and other developing countries, as well as Australia, Canada, France, Poland, and the U.S. In addition, recent “pre-salt” oil and natural gas finds in deep water off Brazil’s coast could turn that country from an oil importer to a major oil exporter. And China, India, Indonesia, and South Africa continue to produce and use vast amounts of coal.

The purpose of the Energy Institute’s new annual International Index is to help make sense of the significant transitions occurring in world energy markets and how the U.S. and other major energy users are coping with the energy security implications of these transitions.

The report that follows provides a detailed look at energy security from 1980 to 2010 for 25 developed and emerging economies. The Index was developed from 28 different metrics of energy security risk. Many of these metrics will be recognizable to those familiar with our U.S. Index, but given the uneven availability of international energy data, some differences from the U.S. Index are inevitable, and these are explained in the documentation. The report also discusses the results of our analysis and provides short energy security profiles for each of the 25 countries we examined. Appendices provide detailed data on each of the countries considered, and the Energy Institute’s webpage has an interactive tool that allows visitors to look at the data for the 75 largest energy-consuming countries in the International Index database.

With the U.S. Index, the Energy Institute created a data-driven method allowing us to answer from a domestic perspective the question: Is our energy security getting better or worse? With the new International Index being unveiled in this report, we can now answer that question from an international perspective, too. We hope that in doing so, we can enrich the energy security debate at home and abroad and provide business and governments with better information to make better decisions.

Creating something as complex as the International Index would not have been possible without the diligent efforts of many people. In particular, our thanks go to Daniel E. Klein, President of Twenty-First Strategies of Santa Fe, New Mexico, and his assistant Christopher D. Russell, both of whom put in long hours to pull together an international database of energy security metrics that is truly remarkable in its breadth, depth, and versatility. There is nothing else quite like it anywhere, and it is the basis for the entire project. Thanks also are due to Brian Miller, Mallory Kastor, and the entire production team here at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for producing a superb publication on a tight deadline. Our web-development department also did yeoman’s work in getting the report and interactive features of the International Index ready for the web. Energy Institute intern Kyle Roney also deserves special mention for the role he played in preparing this report. And last but not least, special thanks go to the entire Energy Institute team for designing and creating a product that we are confident will change the way we look at energy security both at home and abroad.

Karen A. Harbert
President and CEO
Institute for 21st Century Energy
U.S. Chamber of Commerce