Securing America's Future Energy

SAFE Oil Security Index Spotlights Saudi Arabia as Kingdom Protects Market Share in Low Oil Price Environment

Contact: Ellen Carey
Number: 202-461-2382
Updated Index adds three new countries—Norway, Indonesia, France; OPEC output continues its rise despite sluggish demand

Washington, D.C. – Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE) released today the second quarterly installment of its Oil Security Index for 2015, measuring the oil security of sixteen countries around the world.

Countries are measured on key indicators, such as their structural dependence on oil, economic exposure to the global oil market, and capacity to respond to oil supply disruptions.

This latest Index update shines a light on Saudi Arabia, having decided to maintain production levels in today’s low price environment in order to preserve its market share. The Kingdom is the lowest-ranking country in the Index due to factors including its near-complete dependence on oil export revenue and its high oil consumption levels at home.

Requiring a fiscal breakeven oil price above $80 per barrel, Saudi Arabia has projected a record-breaking fiscal deficit of $38.7 billion for 2015. Moreover, the Kingdom has begun drawing from its monetary reserves to stave off the effects of low oil prices—reducing its assets from a record $737 billion in August 2014 to $707 billion as of February 2015—a sign that the country continues to prioritize economic growth and social spending and is willing to draw on its savings to protect market share, an option many of its fellow OPEC nations do not have.

“Today’s low fuel prices come as welcome relief for American families and businesses. Unfortunately, there is little to no certainty that they will last, as oil price volatility returns to levels not seen since the aftermath of the financial crisis, and Americans remain dependent on one fuel source for transportation,” said SAFE President and CEO Robbie Diamond. “Long-term planning will be increasingly challenging for consumers and businesses, as well as countries heavily reliant on oil export revenue, carrying economic and political implications and promoting continued geopolitical instability.”

This latest Index update welcomes the addition of three new countries—France, Norway, and Indonesia—ranking fifth, seventh, and tenth place, respectively.

The United States ranks eighth, nudged downward by the additions of France and Norway. The U.S. was the largest contributor to non-OPEC supply growth in this quarter’s update, adding 1.6 million barrels per day (mbd) year-over-year (y-o-y) and 0.4 mbd quarter-over-quarter. However, the U.S. also increased its oil demand 0.2 mbd y-o-y and by 0.3 mbd over Q3. The U.S. ranks second in terms of highest Fuel Consumption Per Capita, and economy-wide oil consumption leaves the country vulnerable to high and volatile oil prices.

OPEC increased output year-over-year, posting an additional 0.8 mbd in Q4 as production in Libya and Iraq was renewed. This increase was notably not offset by production cuts in other member countries, pushing total OPEC output to 37 mbd, slightly higher than in Q3.

Unplanned oil supply outages increased by 0.1 mbd to 3.0 mbd in Q4, fueled by stoppages in Libya, Nigeria, and Iran within OPEC, and South Sudan, Yemen, and Syria outside the cartel. Ongoing geopolitical instability throughout the Middle East, as well as in Venezuela, Libya, and Nigeria, continues to inject uncertainty into the global market and create oil price volatility.

Additional highlights from the latest Oil Security Index include:

  •  Net U.S. liquid fuel imports have declined by over 6 mbd since 2008 to 4.6 mbd in Q4 2014. Domestic crude production has increased by more than 4 mbd over the same period.
  • Russia continued to show signs of plateauing production in Q4 2014, registering a 0.03 mbd y-o-y decrease in supply
  • Non-OPEC production grew 1.8 mbd y-o-y in Q4 with the U.S. contributing the majority, 1.6 mbd y-o-y
  • Global demand remained sluggish in Q4, increasing 0.9 mbd y-o-y, with 0.4 mbd coming from Non-OECD Asia—specifically China.

The sixteen countries of the Oil Security Index rank as follows:

1.      Japan

2.      Germany

3.      Canada

4.      South Africa

5.      France

6.      United Kingdom

7.      Norway

8.      United States

9.      China

10.    Indonesia

11.    Brazil

12.    Mexico

13.    Australia

14.    Russia

15.    India

16.    Saudi Arabia

To learn more about the Oil Security Index, a project of SAFE and Roubini Global Economics (RGE), visit The online tool is updated quarterly and contains an interactive map featuring multiple indicators that provide an overall understanding of a nation’s complete oil security landscape.

About Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE)
Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE)
is a nonpartisan organization that aims to reduce America’s dependence on oil and improve U.S. energy security to bolster national security and strengthen the economy. SAFE advocates for expanded domestic production of U.S. oil and gas resources, continued improvements in fuel efficiency, and in the long-term, breaking oil’s stranglehold on the transportation sector through alternatives like natural gas for heavy-duty trucks and plug-in electric vehicles. In 2006, SAFE joined with General P.X. Kelley (Ret.), 28th Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps, and Frederick W. Smith, Chairman, President, and CEO of FedEx Corporation, to form the Energy Security Leadership Council (ESLC), a group of business and former military leaders committed to reducing U.S. oil dependence.

About Roubini Global Economics (RGE)
Roubini Global Economics (RGE) is an independent, global macro-economic strategy research and country risk firm founded in 2004 by renowned economist Nouriel Roubini. RGE research interprets global economic signals into practical macro-strategy insight for a wide range of financial and policy professionals. RGE’s Country Risk product offers a unique approach to measuring country risk, delivering analysis that is consistent across time and ignores market noise. Our research approach broadens our clients’ understanding of global economies and markets by illustrating vulnerabilities and risks; giving them constructive frameworks for clarity and helping them to make more informed decisions. RGE is headquartered in New York and also has an office in London.


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