In a SPIEGEL interview, United States oil expert Daniel Yergin discusses fears of a global energy crisis, the growing confidence of oil-rich nations and changes in world politics caused by rising energy prices. Spiegel: Mr. Yergin, Europe is dependent on Russian gas, Venezuela and Bolivia nationalize their oil industries, Iran threatens to use oil as a weapon. How secure is the world’s energy supply? Daniel Yergin: We are living in a new age of energy supply anxiety. A premium in the oil price of somewhere between 10 to 15 dollars a barrel reflects this heightened anxiety. What we see is the rebirth of 1970s-style resource nationalism that is riding on this crest of high energy prices. The balance of power has changed, the exporting countries are in a much stronger position today. Spiegel: Would Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez or Russian President Vladimir Putin act so self-confidently if a barrel still cost only 20 dollars? Yergin: Probably not; their position has changed dramatically. Just a little more than half a decade ago the oil businesss was the oldest of the old economies, all governments were tending to privatize their state oil companies and tried desperately to draw […]

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