The above is a rough ranking of which countries seem most at risk of having their oil production reduced as a result of the wave of unrest at present in the Middle East. The #1 risk at the moment would seem to be Libya, OPEC's 9th largest producer:
Libya appeared to slip further from the grip of Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi on Tuesday, as clashes intensified in Tripoli and opposition forces in eastern Libya moved to consolidate control of the region.This doesn't sound like a good environment for producing oil... Here is the history of Libyan production, according to the EIA, JODI, and the IEA:
Witnesses described the streets of Tripoli, the capital, as a war zone. In several neighborhoods of the city, including Fashloom, protesters tried to seal off the streets with makeshift barricades of scrap steel and other debris. Forces loyal to Colonel Qaddafi had so far failed to surmount the barricades and young protesters appeared to be gathering rocks to throw in their defense in anticipation of a renewed attack.
Outside the barricades, militiamen and Bedouin tribesmen defending the strongman and his 40-year rule were stationed at intersections around the city. Many carried Kalashnikov assault rifles and an anti-aircraft gun was deployed in front of the state television headquarters.
“It is extremely tense,” one witness said, speaking anonymously for fear of reprisals.
The main feature of the graph is the voluntary drop in production (along with most OPEC countries) during the great recession, since when production has been pretty flat. There is some dissensus between the agencies on how much production really dropped.
Next most at risk is probably Algeria, OPEC #10, where protests continue to simmer, but not at the level of Libya or Egypt:
Hundreds of Algerians have turned out for anti-government protests in the capital Algiers, a week after thousands of demonstrators were confronted by 30,000 riot police at the same venue.The Algerian production profile looks very similar to the Libyan, except there is even more disagreement between the agencies than usual as to the level of Algerian production:
Three people have so far been arrested at May 1 Square, the focal point of protests, according to Elias Filali, an activist and blogger who spoke to Al Jazeera.
The square has been blocked by more than a thousand police officers, equipped with riot gear, who are trying to divide protesters into smaller groups. Helicopters are also reported to be flying overhead.
"The people have lost faith in this regime. This [protest] is a success because ... [protesters] have broken this barrier of fear," Filali said.
El Watan, an Algerian daily newspaper, reported on Saturday that train services in the country had been shut down completely, and that authorities have set up road blocks on the highway that links Tizi-Ouzou, Boumerdes and Bejaia to the capital.
Finally, we have Iran, where the abortive Green Revolution of 2009 has come back to life, inspired by events in Tunisia and Egypt:
There are reports of renewed anti-government protests in Iran, with demonstrators taking to the streets in several cities across the country.Iran is OPEC's second largest producer, and would have a big impact on global production if it stopped:
There have also been clashes between protesters and security forces, posts on social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter said on Sunday. There were also reports of one protester being shot dead in Tehran, a story denied by government official in state media.
The official IRNA reported that Faezeh Rafsanjani, the daughter of ex-president, Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, has been among those arrested for particiapting in the protest. Fars news agency reported that she was released shortly thereafter.
Protesters have apparently thronged Tehran's Vali-Asr and Enghelab squares. Similar demonstrations are being reported in Shiraz and Isfahan.
Reformist news sites said security forces were responding to the protests in some measure.
Rahesabz.net reported that a number of plainclothes Basij security forces, some on motorcycle, had arrived at the protest in Shiraz, carrying the flag of the Islamic republic. They also blocked the entrance to some streets.
A page on Facebook used to organise the protests also carried a post saying that security forces were beating protesters with batons and chains in the northern city of Rasht.
Citing witnesses inside the country, sources told Al Jazeera that plainclothes security forces were rounding up and taking away groups of protesters near Sharif University in Tehran, near Azadi Square.
The page also quoted witnesses as saying that tear gas had been used against protesters in Tehran, and the BBC Persian website said gunshots had been heard in the Abbas Abad area, west of Vali-Asr street.
Finally, I should note the following: it's in the short term interest of global stability for these countries to continue to be stable under their existing regimes. It's in the long term interest of global stability for them to be free and democratic. I support their respective democracy movements, while at the same time wanting to track the considerable short term risks to civilization from so many revolutionary movements being active at the same time.