The Economic Impact of Oil and Gas Shortfalls

If you own oil and gas stocks, the future is looking bright. If you don’t, well, let’s just say that you’re going to be in for it.

According to a report just released from the International Energy Agency (IEA), we’ll face a global oil and gas crunch by 2012, with the first signs coming in 2009. The IEA is the energy security arm of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, which is made up of 26 countries and known to produce accurate statistics.

Attributing the problem to increasing global demand and not enough production from OPEC countries, the IEA predicts that the supply of natural gas will be even tighter than oil.

The IEA also expects that non-OPEC-producing nations will not be able to make up the shortfalls in oil production by the main OPEC producers by the end of this decade.

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What all this means is higher prices for energy commodities and significant instability in the world’s geopolitical structure. When energy becomes scarce, people get cranky.

There isn’t much we can do about the global energy situation from an investor’s point of view. All we can do is own the right stocks that stand to gain from energy’s fundamentals.

We’ve already discussed, at length, the benefit of having some alternative energy stocks in your portfolio. It also seems likely that owning an integrated oil and gas producer will be profitable.

Nobody can predict the future, but just about everyone agrees that energy prices aren’t going to get any cheaper. Because the economy needs energy to thrive, I’m worried about the inflationary impact higher oil and gas prices will have if the IEA report’s predictions come true. The implication is a higher interest rate around the world.