Many oil producing states rely upon revenues associated with that resource to finance themselves, particularly when it comes to social spending. This sits awkwardly beside the fact that the era of cheap and easy oil is ending. As such, states seeking to maintain output will face some very tricky choices. To prevent a collapse in exports, they will need to invest much more (making the oil industry less of a support to state coffers). They may also need to reduce or eliminate the degree to which they subsidize petroleum products like gasoline for the local population.
None of this is the kind of thing that keeps governments secure. Indeed, a government that pursues the economically prudent course of investing in long-term capacity might find itself threatened by others who would rather skip the investment to keep things rolling nicely in the present. All that adds another worrisome dimension to the nexus of energy security and global politics. It is especially hard to see how states like Saudi Arabia – where the entire social, political, and economic system depends on money from oil exports – will adapt to a world where maintaining their output becomes more and more costly and challenging.