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Abstract

The idea of energy security emerged after the energy crises of the 1970s. It has evolved from the initial paradigm of assuring sufficient energy supplies to include a price affordability perspective and, eventually, many other energy-related issues, such as infrastructure, environmental impacts, societal effects, energy efficiency and governance.

However, security of physical supply and price affordability remain the paradigm’s two key pillars.

This study applies financial portfolio theory to the energy security issues of East Asia’s four major energy importers: China, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan. The authors calculate the relative risks associated with the dynamics of oil imports, and the import prices paid, and estimate the efficient frontiers for corresponding import portfolios. Lastly, the study runs several scenarios that simulate the effects of restructuring the four countries’ oil import portfolios and of external disruptions, notably US sanctions on Iranian oil sales.

The paper’s key findings include:

  • The short-run impact of a fully enforced Iranian oil export embargo would increase portfolio risk across the board, within a 3% to 15% range. However, the subsequent substitution of Iranian oil imports by other suppliers would prove beneficial for Japan and Taiwan.
  • The risk premium associated with passing through the Malacca Straits would result in a 27.5% increase in price volatility for China’s oil imports, although the negative impact on its average import price level would be less pronounced, at 2.6% compared to between 5.2% and 5.8% for the other three importers.

Authors

Philipp Galkin

Visiting Researcher Philipp is a visiting researcher at KAPSARC, working on the economic and policy aspects of energy supply and trade. Philipp’s… Philipp is a visiting researcher at KAPSARC, working on the economic and policy aspects of energy supply and trade. Philipp’s work at KAPSARC includes evaluating the effect of preferential trade agreements on energy flows, analysis of OPEC energy policy and deriving insights related to China’s energy policy and its impact on global markets through modeling energy supply sectors.

Expertise

  • International economic relations
  • Regional and country studies and policy analysis

Publications See all Philipp Galkin’s publications

Carlo Andrea Bollino

Visiting Researcher Carlo Andrea is a visiting researcher at KAPSARC, a professor of economics at the University of Perugia, and a professor of energy economics… Carlo Andrea is a visiting researcher at KAPSARC, a professor of economics at the University of Perugia, and a professor of energy economics at the University Luiss, Rome. He has been the president of the Italian Association for Energy Economics since 2014 and was the president of the International Association for Energy Economics in 2008. His other roles have included energy advisor to Italy's minister of industry, president of the Italian Electric Transmission Network, chief economist at Eni, economist at the Bank of Italy, research associate at United Nations' Project LINK, and lecturer and professor of economics at the universities of Pennsylvania (United States), Campobasso, Sassari and Urbino (Italy). Carlo Andrea's research investigates econometric modeling, consumer behavior, energy markets, sustainable and renewable energy, liberalization and regulation policy. He has authored over 200 scientific articles, is the chief editor of the Review of Economics and Institutionsand a member of the editorial board of Energies.

Expertise

  • Econometric modeling
  • Consumer behavior
  • Energy markets
  • Sustainable and renewable energy
  • Liberalization and regulation policy

Publications See all Carlo Andrea Bollino’s publications

Simona Bigerna

Simona Bigerna

Associate Professor of Economics, University of Perugia

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