Edited by Kim Talus
The contemporary fossil fuel market is truly global in scope. Oil can be shipped to and from all the corners of the world and the onset of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) shows great promise of a more flexible market for natural gas in the future. The application of advanced drilling techniques in the United States (US) which allow the unlocking of natural gas and oil resources trapped in so-called shale formations below the earth's surface have sparked a true energy revolution. Other countries around the world are analysing their own resources to see whether the US experience can be replicated. The resulting surge in oil and gas production in the US has truly turned existing energy relations upside down. Whereas the US was headed for a period of sustained imports, the International Energy Agency (IEA) now projects the US to overtake Saudi Arabia and become the world's largest oil producer by mid 2020 and to become a net oil exporter by 2030. This 'energy revolution' adds additional complexity to a world which in energy terms was already growing increasingly complex. Whereas energy sectors in many parts of the world during the 1980s and 1990s were largely privatized or deregulated, of late this pro-market ideology has been giving way to a resurgence of state capitalism.
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