Natural Gas, Nuclear and Hydrogen
Loyola de Palacio Series on European Energy Policy
Chapter 3: The New Security Environment for European Gas: Worsening Geopolitics and Increasing Global Competition for LNG
Jonathan Stern INTRODUCTION: A NEW SECURITY ENVIRONMENT 1 Security of European gas supply became a very topical subject following the cuts in Russian supplies to Ukraine in the first days of 2006 which had the consequence of briefly restricting the availability of supplies to some European countries. Much of the subsequent discourse has been concerned with ‘the arithmetic of gas security’ expressed as current and projected national or collective dependence of European countries on non-OECD suppliers (or groups of suppliers) over the next 15–25 years. Increasing dependence is directly correlated with growing insecurity, defined as the likelihood that gas exporting countries will cut off, or threaten to cut off, supplies to importing countries in support of their commercial and political (foreign policy) demands. The European Union (EU) has responded to the prospect of growing import dependence with the publication, since 2000, of two Green Papers (EU, 2000, 2006a) plus a security of supply directive (EU, 2004) and an energy policy document (EU, 2007). Even if these projections of future dependence are believed to be correct, concerns about the resulting commercial and political leverage form only a small part of a security environment. It also includes a cluster of short- and long-term issues among which are resource availability, technical breakdown and accident, terrorist attack, political instability, and lack of timely investment, as well as disagreements in relation to existing and future supplies and prices, transit and facilities. The central proposition of this chapter is that, in both the short and...
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