Igor Dekanić WORLD OIL MARKET AT THE BEGINNING OF THE 21st CENTURY Abstract The paper analyzes circumstances on the global oil market towards the beginning of the 21st century as a result of market development over the past 25 years. Since the oil price decrease in 1986, oil consumption has been developing, oil trade expanding on international market stocks and consumer impact increasing, with a relatively low oil price. Under such circumstances, a new concentration of American and British oil industry was performed towards the end of 90s, with a simultaneous decrease of the interest in energy preservation and technology of alternative energy sources. After the terrorist attack on USA on September 11, 2001, this brought to a new destabilization of the world oil market, increased impact of geopolitical factors on market circumstances and oil price leap after 2003. Thus, after some twenty years of relative stability and low oil price, global oil market at the beginning of the 21st c. has re-entered the phase of possible energy-related crises, political instability and major disturbances. Such a condition makes the energy-related situation of energy importers rather difficult, especially when it comes to relatively small countries outside of geopolitical integrations, but also makes the need for energy savings topical once again, along with advancing energy efficiency and a more intense use of renewable energy sources.