Let's assume you have nothing to do with the demand or supply of energy. But one morning you wake up and feel an urge to find out about the strategic importance of the port of Djibouti in West Africa to Eritrea. Suppose you get curious about the presence of three major oil companies - ExxonMobil, Shell and TotalFinaElf - in a place where there isn't any oil. What will you do?
If energy intelligence is what you are looking for on the web, this is a goldmine from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) of the US department of energy. In terms of sheer volume of information, there is hardly a cyber parallel. The US is the biggest consumer of energy in world. Being terribly interested in what goes on where in the world of energy, it likes to keep a tab on the wheels that drive the global economy.
The country analysis briefs on the site are particularly valuable in a globalising world. If you are an Indian industrialist looking for an international market that hasn't already been usurped by the Chinese, here's intelligence on the real politics of energy that might help you zero in on some likely market for your goods and services. You can enter your email in the mailing list of your choice and the Yanks will send you the latest straight to your inbox.
For researchers, journalists and their ilk, it is a reservoir of references and information sources. You can view the profiles according to country names or energy sources. Each analysis is linked to several original sources of information - governments, pressure groups, industry, diplomats, universities - specific to the topic. There are links to the CIA fact sheets as well, which can be useful, provided you have an effective Uncle Sam filter in your browser. Talking about browsers, here's a word of caution: the site is heavy (what do you expect?) and our reviewer's browser crashed several times.