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Oil in Mexico & United States Energy Security: A Tale of Symbiosis

Oil in Mexico & United States Energy Security: A Tale of Symbiosis

US vulnerability to dwindling Mexican oil exports is growing.  The US-Mexican relationship in oil has long been a collaborative one.  Over the early part of this decade, as US demand grew, so did Mexican exports to the US mainland—a relationship author  Jeremy Martin calls an “oil symbiosis made in heaven.”  Since 2007, however, Mexican production has been falling.  An uncomfortable redefinition of this symbiotic relationship may be unavoidable in the near future if Mexico’s oil majors cannot sort out their own problems.

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Russia and Iran’s Nuclear Program

Russia and Iran are two of the world’s energy powers if measured by their proven reserves of oil and gas.  In oil, Iranian reserves are nearly double those of Russia yet Russia on any given day is the world’s largest oil producer.  There are any number of reasons which explain this dichotomy.  These include the fact that Iran, not Russia, is an OPEC member and therefore its oil production is limited by the OPEC cartel’s production quota system.  Second, Iran is isolated and ostracized by the international community given the state’s sponsorship of terrorism and its determination to build a domestic nuclear program and with it the value-added of weapons grade nuclear materials.  Further, Iranian oil fields suffer from high inefficiencies due to lack of access to new technology, know how, and foreign investment  all which would be forthcoming had it not positioned itself as a pariah  to pe...

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How the OSCE Can Contribute to Energy Security

The OSCE is the world's largest regional security organization whose 56 participating States span the geographical area from Vancouver to Vladivostok.  Over the past several years the organization has intensified its focus on the issue of energy security.  In January 2010 Kazakhstan will be the first non-European country to chair the organization.  Kazakhstan has already pledged to focus on energy transit issues within the energy security block of issues.  Critical energy infrastructure protection may be a key area where the organization can make a tangible contribution to its member-states’ security.
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January 2010 Issue: The Costs of Taking Energy for Granted

Energy and its availability cannot be taken for granted even in the best of times.  This issue of the Journal of Energy Security reflects this reality on a multitude of fronts.  We often take for granted those things best known to us.  In the energy sphere this includes the relationship of the United States with Mexico as its third largest supplier of oil.  The ability of Mexico to deliver ever increasing volumes of this liquid hydrocarbon to the US market is being thrown into jeopardy due to a variety of factors: geologic exhaustion, technical inefficiencies, managerial ineptness, and corruption which is often the bane of resource-rich nations.  Jeremy Martin enlightens us on the future of the US-Mexican relationship in oil with a studied look at the future of this relationship and what it means for US oil supply security.   

Another key energy issue often overlooked but altogether importa...

The Battle Over Rare Earth Metals

The Battle Over Rare Earth Metals

Rare earth metals are important to the world’s ability to pursue a low carbon future because many of the enabling technologies, such as wind turbines, advanced automotive batteries, energy efficient light bulbs, and solar panels require these select materials for their manufacture. For national defense purposes, a proposed bill in the US Congress entitled the Rare Earths Supply-Chain Technology and Resources Transformation Act of 2009 (RESTART ACT) reads that, “Many modern defense technologies such as radar and sonar systems, precision guided weapons, cruise missiles, and lasers cannot be built, as designed and specified, without the use of rare earth elements (REEs) and materials produced from them.” In short, rare earths are important not only for the production of environmentally sustainable products and technologies but for national defense as well. Rare earths elements are, alas, limi...

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