Where will the world’s flash points be in 2014? My colleague Paul Stares does an annual survey to provide insight. The Preventive Priorities Survey 2014, based on a questionnaire sent to more than 1,200 experts, is out today. It won’t surprise this blog’s readers that crises in many of the top hot spots could have reverberations throughout the energy world.
The survey breaks down contingencies into three tiers, with Tier I the highest priority and Tier III the lowest. The Tier I list includes a “highly disruptive cyber attack on U.S. critical infrastructure” – which might include the electric grid or other energy infrastructure. It also includes “renewed threat of military strikes against Iran” – which could lead to massive oil market disruption. “Civil war in Iraq” also makes an appearance, and with Iraq contributing increasing amounts of oil to global markets, that would have broad energy consequences too.
Tiers II and III include several more contingencies that touch on energy, including in Libya, the South and East China Seas, Nigeria, Sudan, and Venezuela. You can check out the full survey results here.