Gonzalo Escribano outlines the degenerating security conditions in Northern Africa, raising concerns about the ability of Algeria, an OPEC nation, to weather the resulting economic, political and security shocks, and inviting comparisons between the current situation and the catastrophic events experienced by the country during the 1986-1988 oil price collapse and its aftermath. The report discusses the extent to which low oil prices could foster an environment for economic and political reforms, and the benefits that the international community, specifically Europe, could derive from taking advantage of this moment in time to press for new energy policies that improve both supply and overall security.
By the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) reckoning, some 5.5 million barrels of oil — 6% of world demand — get burned daily as bunker fuel on the high seas. Those bunkers are the world’s last big sink for high sulfur residual fuel oil (HSFO), the "bottom of the barrel,” as air-emission rules for ships have to date remained relatively loose. Tighter sulfur regulations may soon change that, with far-reaching impacts for the shipping industry, energy markets and air emissions from ships.