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Energy, Security, and Climate

CFR experts examine the science and foreign policy surrounding climate change, energy, and nuclear security.

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New Study: Lessons Learned from the 2011 Strategic Petroleum Reserve Release

by Blake Clayton

As anyone who follows the oil market knows, speculation is rife that the White House may soon decide to tap the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR). Whether they will remains to be seen. But before officials in the United States and other International Energy Agency (IEA) member countries take any action, it’s crucial they weigh the lessons of last summer’s release of national oil stockpiles. Read more »

The IEA on Sudan and South Sudan

by Blake Clayton

In today’s monthly Oil Market Report (OMR), the International Energy Agency (IEA) weighed in on how it sees the recent hostilities and pipeline tariff deal between Sudan and South Sudan affecting oil production there through 2013. This is hardly an academic question. The loss of South Sudan’s oil has been one force putting upward pressure on global prices this year, and oil is critical to the economy and stability of both countries.  The IEA’s bottom line? Don’t hold your breath for things to get much better, at least in terms of oil production, despite last weekend’s encouraging developments. And plenty can still go wrong. Read more »

Is U.S. Energy Independence Possible?

by Blake Clayton

It depends on how you define it.

Take oil, for example. The recent, sustained downturn in U.S. oil imports is already the talk of the town, but to recap: The United States is importing far less foreign oil to satisfy its domestic needs than it was even a few years ago. This trend is very likely to continue in the coming years. Read more »

Is South Korea Undermining Sanctions Against Iran?

by Michael Levi

The Wall Street Journal delivered some disturbing news yesterday: South Korea “sharply boosted imports of Iranian crude” in April, buying 42 percent more than a year before, and 57 percent more than in March. Analysts have speculated as to whether Seoul was attempting to sneak in extra oil before European sanctions begin to bite. A more careful look at the data, though, suggests that the spike in Korean imports is less peculiar than meets the eye. Read more »