Energy Security

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  • The Great Gas Game over Syria

    New energy find in West Asia will set forth new political equations. Syria alone has discovered huge proven gas, oil and shale reserves. Whether the Assad regime survives or a change of regime happens there would determine the global gas system in a large way.

    September 09, 2013

    The Iran-Pakistan Pipeline: Pressler 2.0?

    The Pakistanis are playing a high-stakes gamble, one in which they think the odds are stacked in their favour in a way that while they stand to gain a lot even if things don’t quite work in the way they imagine they won’t end up losing too much.

    March 12, 2013

    Amol asked: Has India neglected Brunei which can be a partner in India's energy security among ASEAN countries?

    Rahul Mishra replies: Ever since the inception of Look East Policy, India has strived to seek a balance in terms of multilateral and bilateral engagement with countries of the Southeast Asian region. Even in terms of implementing the Look East Policy, no country has been given priority over the other.

    As far as ties with Brunei is concerned, regular visits by the leaders from both the sides, including the May 2008 visit of the Sultan of Brunei Darussalam, Hassanal Bolkiah, to New Delhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s meeting with the Sultan on the sidelines of the 10th ASEAN-India Summit in Cambodia in November 2012, testify the warmth in bilateral ties. Prior to the 10th ASEAN-India Summit, the then Indian Foreign Minister S.M. Krishna had visited the country in October 2012. One of the objectives of his visit was to explore the possibilities of a long-term LNG supply from Brunei, which was also the country coordinator for India in the ASEAN in 2012.

    The India-Brunei energy cooperation is going smoothly and the two countries are exploring the possibility of further cooperation in this regard. In fact, the energy sector holds lion’s share in the India-Brunei trade. Out of the total US $500 million trade, energy sector contributes about US $400 million. However, India and Brunei are also mulling over the possibility of diversifying and increasing the share of other trading goods, which includes joint venture investments in hotel industry and infrastructure development. Brunei is particularly interested in investing in the Indian hotel industry, which is open to 100 per cent foreign direct investment.

    China to Survey Disputed Marine Territories for Natural Resources

    China seems to have made this move to strengthen its claim to disputed marine territories by conducting “surveys” which a country normally does in its own territory.

    January 11, 2013

    India's Growing Energy Woes

    The power blackouts on 30 July 2012, first in north India and again in north, north-east and eastern India, which plunged seven northern Indian states into darkness for several hours, disrupting normal life, underline the critical state of the country's energy security. Apart from the discomfort and inconvenience to residents, several essential services such as water supply, city transport systems (including the metro and national railways), mining, health and banking and financial sectors, came to a standstill for hours.

    January 2013

    Transporting Overseas Energy Resources: A Pressing Need but is it a Feasible Prospect?

    While overseas coal acquisition is a priority for both the government and private players, an important issue confronting them is the transportation of the acquired resources to the domestic market.

    June 07, 2012

    China’s Strategic Petroleum Reserves: A Reality Check

    While maintaining a reserve of 100 days worth of imported petroleum consumption at present consumption rates may be the stated policy of the Chinese government, an analysis of the existing capacities seems to suggest that China may be in a position to store much larger strategic oil reserves should it so desire.

    May 21, 2012

    US Strategic Thinking in an Era of Energy Self Sufficiency

    With the United States possibly becoming self sufficient in oil and natural gas, a profound change in its strategic thinking is bound to take place.

    May 08, 2012

    Blessy asked: What factors affect India’s energy security requirements? How do these factors affect India’s national security?

    Shebonti Ray Dadwal replies

    1. India is dependent on fossil fuels to meet its growing demand, in which it is deficient. Despite the effort to enhance domestic production, dependence on imported resources continues to increase. Hence, India needs assured access to imported energy supplies. Therefore, energy diplomacy is important to gain access to not only supplies, but also overseas assets, for which strong bilateral relations are required to gain preferential access to both. Moreover, gas is still a largely regional market; hence, gaining access to gas supplies will also depend on the attractiveness of the Indian market and relations with supplier countries.

    2. Since renewable energy resources is a growing market, both for energy security as well as climate change considerations, access to new energy related technologies is important. The R&D investment in India remains modest at best, if not poor. At the same time, India needs to negotiate with developed countries with requisite cutting edge technology to gain access to the same at affordable prices.

    3. India needs to create an attractive investment climate to woo foreign companies in the energy sector across the board. With the current subsidy regime that is prevailing, many companies/countries are wary or unwilling to invest in the energy sector. Hence, sensible pricing policies that can promote economic partnership with countries that have energy resources and technologies are required.

    4. Without adequate and affordable energy supply, as well as a good delivery system to ensure that modern forms of energy are accessible to undeveloped areas, India's economic growth will not be sustained and/or will remain skewed. This can lead to instability in the poorer and less developed parts of the country. Areas that are most affected by political instability today are the ones that are largely under-developed.

    5. If India wants to be counted as an emerging economy with global influence, it will have to ensure that its economic growth is sustained. One of the main components of economic growth is energy security, without which the infrastructure will remain stunted.

    Can Unconventional Gas Be a Game-Changer for India?

    The discovery of extracting unconventional (shale) gas through hydraulic fracturing has revolutionised the gas industry in the US and has given rise to a debate over whether it has the potential to reverse the emerging geopolitical equations in the global energy sector which was hitherto seen to be tilting in favour of the conventional energy producers.

    March 2012