In celebration of World Water Day on March 22nd, the Journal of Energy Security is launching a series of articles on the nexus between energy and water. There is a symbiotic relationship that is at work here—according to sources we’ve accessed, which include Scandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Pacific National Laboratories in Washington State, and the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) in Stockholm, Sweden, among others. Jakob Granit from SIWI makes his first contribution to the JES, providing the suggestion that cooperative measures in the energy sector, through energy pooling, may be an applicable model to facilitate the development of needed global water resources on a region-by-region basis. In May, the JES will spotlight a water contribution from Steven Solomon drawing on research from his new book, Water: The Epic Struggle for Wealth, Power and Civilization.
Cooperation is a key word in determining the future energy security of European nations, particularly for those scattered across Central and Eastern Europe. While Russia steams ahead with its Nord Stream project, it has picked up a key ally in France’s GDF (Gaz de France) while the Visegrad nations (Czech Republic, Hungary, Bulgaria, Poland and Slovakia) seek to press forward in diversifying gas resources away from Russian-origin gas. In March these nations (and a handful of others including Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Romania, Slovenia and Bulgaria) called for greater EU cohesion and structural funding for enhanced and diversified energy flow, primarily LNG through the Black Sea and Mediterranean. These movements, combined with Russian fears of a ‘gas glut’, lead this past month to a rethink of Russia’s own gas production development strategy. Already the huge Stockmann gas field project has been put at least on temporary hold, and, interestingly, Russia’s Gazprom inaugurated its first coal-bed methane plant this past month. Clearly movement is afoot in global gas markets, and one well worth watching—particularly for gas import dependent states.
Heading south from Russia through the CIS from Turkmenistan to Afghanistan and beyond are the potential implications of the construction and development of the Turkmen-Afghan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) pipeline. While the development of such a transnational pipeline would bring treasure to the government of Afghanistan as a major transit state for this gas pipeline, it has direct and immediate security implications for ISAF troops already stationed in the country. John Foster, a long-standing industry professional who has served with the World Bank, gives us his perspective on TAPI development and what it means for all the stakeholders.
Notwithstanding the geopolitics of energy, contributors Andreas Goldthau and Jan Martin Witte share their research, insight and perspective on how global energy markets, and in particular how the anemic producer-consumer dialogue, might be enhanced through governance mechanisms. In a wide ranging discussion, from the applicability of the methodology that underlies the WTO to financial market stabilization, the authors contend that while energy will remain political, a global governance approach towards problem resolution provides a new analytical perspective on viewing energy trade and resource development in a different, non zero-sum light.
Finally, tensions are heating up in the Britain's Falkland Islands with the arrival of an off-shore oil rig to explore for oil in off-shore Falklands’ waters. This has raised the ire of the Argentine government, which has called on the United Nation’s Secretary General and US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton to intervene. Whether the UK considers this a dispute is an altogether different question. What is increasingly clear is that where energy and politics mix there is no neat way to sort out the wheat from the chaff; understanding the energy security dilemmas of our time requires boring down into the details. This is what the JES is all about.