From the first spark of Middle East unrest in Tunisia in December until the violent suppression of protests in Libya in late February, the price of a barrel of crude oil rose from $88 a barrel to more than $100. But rising demand – from oil-hungry China and other fast-growing nations – was pushing prices up even before the turmoil. How much prices rise depends largely on whether supplies flow unimpeded from the Middle East. Here’s a rundown on oil supply-price issues affecting the US.
Oil prices slipped to around $97 a barrel as fears eased on Libyan supply cuts. Saudi Arabia signals it could boost supplies to contain surge in oil prices.
Rapidly rising oil prices, and fears it could harm the US economy, make tapping the strategic reserves a tempting option. But analysts say it would work only for the short term.
Muammar Qaddafi's Libya may be autocratic like Tunisia and Egypt. But unlike the leaders of those regimes, Qaddafi seems willing to plunge his country into war to preserve power.
Bahrain (officially the Kingdom of Bahrain) doesn't usually receive much international attention. But the uprising that swept through the Middle East last year reached Bahrain's central Pearl Square, as thousands turned out to protest for reforms. Below are some key facts about this small cluster of islands off Saudi Arabia's coast.
Stock prices were up in European capitals as hopes grew that the eurozone's debt crisis would ease.
A 60 percent majority on Obama's bipartisan deficit commission say they approved the co-chairs' recommendations, not enough to force a vote in Congress. Will their work have an impact?
A new energy revolution – similar to shifts from wood to coal to oil – is inevitable as climate change and oil scarcity drive a global search for sustainability in power production. But even the promise of renewable energy holds drawbacks.
Recent interruptions in exports of rare earth minerals are due to a sharp cut in export quotas announced last July, argue China and rare earths analysts.