Editorial:Embargos and instability

04/22/2002
The future of oil-supply security is manifest in present tumult. Embargo threats thunder around violence in Israel, lift prices of crude oil, and come to little. Political upheaval paralyzes Venezuela, meanwhile, and exports of crude oil and petroleum products cease.So it has gone in modern history. Disruptions to oil supply happen, almost always due to war, rebellion, or natural disaster. Oil importers and traders, however, tend to focus on politically motivated curtailment of oil sales, which hasn't happened since the Arab embargo of 1973-74, as the market's prominent hazard.Embargo unlikelyFor two simple reasons, a repeat of the Arab embargo is in fact unlikely. An embargo woul...
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