The Implications of the Arab Uprisings for Oil and Gas Markets
The events that took place in the Arab world in the opening months of 2011 mark a watershed in the history of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. Given the importance of MENA energy supplies in global economic terms, the political unrest witnessed by the region has caused widespread fears about the prospect of energy supply disruptions. With international oil and gas prices beginning to rise from 2010, there was serious concern among market and political actors that any further increase in prices would put at risk the fragile recovery of the global economy from the deepest recession in decades. This paper examines the significance of the recent Arab uprisings and their implications for regional and global oil and gas markets. It argues that, although markets were able to cope resiliently in the short term, there remains much uncertainty about the likely longer-term implications of the recent events.