More than 100 global economies including six G7 economies --have energy supplies that are at "extreme" or "high" risk in the short-term, according to a new analysis from Maplecroft.
The study, titled The Energy Security (short-term) Index, assesses immediate risks to the availability, affordability and continuity of energy supplies in 196 countries by evaluating energy imports, diversity of supplies, import security and energy costs.
Maplecroft rated three countries, Sierra Leone (1), Gambia (2) and Guinea Bissau (3), as "extreme risk" in the short-term index.
In addition, another 122 nations are rated "high risk" in the short-term index, including the G7 economies of:
As Maplecroft CEO, Alyson Warhurst points out, this high risk designation reflects the dangers of an economy heavily dependent on imported fuels from a specific region.
"Rising fuel prices in response to the political turmoil in the MENA (Middle East and North Africa)region in early 2011 have shown that energy security is of paramount importance," she said. "Many countries are greatly reliant on imported oil and gas from these regimes. In order to support economic growth and energy demands, they will need to diversify energy supplies by increasing import partners and expanding domestic production and renewable energy sources."
Maplecroft also took a look at long-term energy security, and in that index several countries fare better. For example, in the long-term analysis, the US is rated as "low risk" (160 out of 171 countries), due in part to long-term plans for energy self-sufficiency.
Interestingly, China rated "high risk" in the long-term study (coming in at 49). Maplecroft predicts that China's future energy needs will create an appetite for unconventional energy resources such as shale gas and offshore drilling in the South China Sea, despite the environmental concerns.
Several countries in the MENA region also emerged as "high risk" in the long-term study. The "high risk" list includes: Egypt (31), Morocco (41), Qatar (44), Saudi Arabia (45), Tunisia (53), Iran (55), Iraq (63), Kuwait (66) and UAE (79).
More about the short- and long-term energy security analyses is available here.