Levy, Walter J.
June 1981
Foreign Affairs;Summer81, Vol. 59 Issue 5, p1079
This article reviews and analyses the problems posed for the world oil economy during the 1980s which is a period for which the strategic, economic and physical preconditions are, to a substantial degree, already apparent. The main thrust of the analysis will be directed toward the issues posed in achieving a balanced accommodation between the vital interests of oil importers and exporters, and the consequences that might ensue if such efforts should unfortunately fail. The article answers several questions in this regard. First, considering the outlook for oil in the non-communist world, it answers whether the circumstances of the oil glut indicate that the world's oil importers will cease to be perilously dependent on Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) oil export. Furthermore, the article answers how the oil-consuming nations can better marshal their existing and potential energy resources in an effort to ease the extent and consequences of continued dependence on imported. In addition, assuming that the oil-importing countries are able to achieve comprehensive energy policies, it answers how might such policies assist in moving toward an essential accommodation with the oil-exporting countries, and what are the realistic prospects for such an accommodation. And finally, it explores what actions are needed to contain and possibly deter contingencies which could disrupt the vital flow of oil from the OPEC countries, especially those in the Persian Gulf.


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