Energy fallout from Iran a misguided fear

June 23, 2009 at 11:26 AM
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WASHINGTON, June 23 (UPI) -- Fears that the political fallout from the disputed Iranian elections will send global crude oil prices soaring are unfounded, The Wall Street Journal reports.

The bloody demonstrations following the disputed June 12 presidential contest in Iran provoke memories of the 1979 Islamic Revolution that came during a global energy crisis.

But Americans waited in line for gasoline in the 1980s not because of the Islamic Revolution, but because of the subsequent Iran-Iraq War that removed almost 7 percent of the world's oil from the market, the Journal notes.

Several observers of the current Iranian unrest worry about the consequences of a general working strike, but that would have little impact as Iran exports fewer than 2 million barrels per day, which is less than 3 percent of the global energy demand.

Global inventories, meanwhile, hold more than 4 billion barrels of oil in reserve while the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries holds 5.9 million barrels in its inventories.

To put the energy focus on Iran, whose global influence in the energy sector has waned, is misguided and ignores developments and political forces in American and Europe, the Journal reports.

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