Intelligence Today and Tomorrow

The Potential of Energy Data
A Guide to the Application of Energy Data for Intelligence Analysis
Dr. Brenda Shaffer, Ph.D.

US government agencies and many foreign governments track energy data from around the world for a variety of reasons, some obvious, some less so. The numbers provide material to forecast energy trends, including energy demand and supply, prices, and energy trade flows. Less obviously, intelligence agencies apply energy data to political and economic forecasts, such as estimates of the impact of energy revenue trends on the stability and foreign policies of energy-producing states. Such data is especially important in forecasting political and economic outcomes in major oil and natural gas exporting states, most importantly in the Middle East, where study of energy data trends can contribute to predictions of broad economic trends and assessments of the likelihood and timing of anti-government activity. The purpose of this article is to provide analysts in intelligence or other government agencies a guide to understanding how energy data can be applied to the analysis of a range of issues in countries around the world.

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Posted: Dec 22, 2017 12:04 PM
Last Updated: Dec 22, 2017 12:04 PM