Violence in Libya has already prompted several oil companies to pull their people out of the country for safety reasons. It’s left Southern Europe scrambling for alternative supplies, and sent gasoline prices across the U.S. soaring.
“Outside of Libya, it’s business as normal in the world oil industry.”
That’s Daniel Yergin, head of IHS Cambridge Energy Research Associates and a guru of the oil industry.
He’s in Houston this week hosting the group’s thirtieth annual conference.
“Part of the reason the oil market is responding the way it is is because it’s generalizing as though the Middle East is all one country and all one social system, when it’s a whole host of different countries with different sized populations, different economic systems, and different social structures. After a while, the market will start to see it as a number of different countries, rather than sort of thinking of it all as one terrain.”
Developments in Libya may not provide a guide for events elsewhere in the region, any more than the Tunisian or Egyptian revolutions did for Libya.