January-June 2006Options fading for energy-hungry West, NATO told
By Eric Johnson
Prague - A 'blood bank' for oil and nuclear power are among the few options left for
western countries squeezed by the grip of global energy instability, two analysts told a
NATO conference Wednesday. They said the options are dwindling for Europe, the
United States and other big, energy-consuming countries in the face of numerous
destabilizing factors -- from terrorism to hurricanes -- that show no sign of letup.
Fatih Birol, chief economist for the Paris-based International Energy Agency, cited the
lack of investment in oil exploration and the recent natural gas row between Russia and
Ukraine as two examples of the unstable atmosphere. 'We see tight oil markets for some
years to come, and the result is higher oil prices,' Birol said.
Gal Luft, director of the Washington-based Institute for the Analysis of Global Security,
noted that terrorists are now 'new players' who have joined oil-producing countries in
having a major impact on energy prices.One proof, he said, is that the world loses about 1
million barrels of oil every day 'due to politically motivated sabotage.'