31 January 2011 19:33 [Source: ICIS news]
WASHINGTON (ICIS)--The uprisings that toppled the Tunisian government and threaten ?xml:namespace>
While the world watches to see if Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak will lose his 30-year grip on power, the rulers of other Arab countries are said to be increasingly anxious that the “contagion” of popular unrest could undermine their regimes as well.
“Two major concerns seem to be access to the Suez Canal - which, if blocked, adds about 6,000 miles to petroleum’s journey - and the potential for the unrest to spread to other countries that export a lot more petroleum” to the US and Europe, Maisano said.
Any significant interruption for US imports of oil from the Middle East would have an immediate impact on
US imports of natural gas, in the form of ocean-going shipments of liquefied natural gas (LNG), also could be affected if the unrest in
Yemen, which also is beset by popular unrest and could see its government falter, exports about 6 bcf/month of LNG to the US. Qatar is the source of about 8 bcf/month of LNG shipped to the US.
But oil and its consistent supply to the
Although Egypt exports only about 600,000 bbl/month of crude to the US, it also controls the Suez Canal, through which huge supplies of crude and refined product pass each month en route to markets in the EU, the US and elsewhere.
Kevin Book, managing director of ClearView Energy Partners, said that the key question from the
He said that some 18m bbl/month of crude and 36m bbl/month of refined products get to market via the canal.
But even if the canal was shut down for a short period of time, “commercial inventories and government strategic reserves in the 26 IEA nations could compensate for lost volumes”, Book said, referring to the industrialised countries of Europe, North America and
However, any disruption to world oil supplies almost certainly would be reflected in global crude prices and consequently US retail gasoline prices.
Book also suggested that an escalating crisis in
Pollster Rasmussen Reports said on Monday that 75% of Americans think that the unrest in
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