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Home Archive May 2010 Issue

May 2010 Issue

May 2010 Issue: The Evolution of Energy Security

As the May 2010 issue of the Journal of Energy Security goes to print the Group of Experts, lead by former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, will submit their report to the NATO Secretary General on NATO’s new Strategic Concept designed to guide the organization over the next decade.    The issue of energy security  will figure prominently in the document’s recommendations.   Over the past year, not only NATO Members and Partners, but all nations, have continued to struggle with how to address their own energy requirements in a time of economic hardship and dislocation.  Rigor in thinking needs to be brought to this new discipline that has seen energy eclipse itself as a narrow resource issue and push itself forward as a major security concern to energy producers, consumers and transit states alike.  Individual states like Turkey will play an increasingly important role in the transit of energy resources not only from East to West but from South to North.  Two contributions, one from Hasan Alsancak a Turkish energy security expert based in Ankara and another from Sohbet Karbuz who is responsible for hydrocarbons at the Paris based Mediterranean Energy Observatory (OME), focus on Turkey’s and the Caspian region’s larger energy security challenges.  Much of Europe’s energy supply security is tied to the future security and stability of states across the Caucasus-Caspian region and the JES will most certainly follow and support dialogue on the region’s emerging energy security issues in the months and years to come.

From electricity blackouts in Brazil to the specter of cyber-based information warfare, Bruce Averill, former US Department of State Senior Coordinator for Critical Infrastructure Security and his colleague Eric A.M. Luiijf with the Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research join CNRS Information Warfare expert Daniel Ventre, in canvassing recent developments in the global struggle to ward-off cyber-based attacks against energy systems and infrastructure.  What role does information warfare play in Chinese military strategy?  What should energy and power providers be aware  of as the globalization of information and its transmission proceeds?  Are addressing cyber-security concerns analogous to the dire situation of the unimpeded Gulf oil spill off of Louisiana where the advent of new deep-water drilling technologies have out-paced the development of strategies and technologies to prevent or mitigate disaster? 

This issue of the JES also offers the second in a series of articles on the nexus of water and energy.  Mike Hightower, a distinguished member of the technical staff at Sandia National Laboratory in Albuquerque  New Mexico,  focuses on the challenge of augmenting new power production while minimizing the demand for water in areas already water-stressed like in the Western and Southwestern states of the US.  Finally, Victor Ojakorotu and twelve of his colleagues in South Africa provide a detailed analysis of the resurgence of violence in Nigeria’s Niger Delta.  This lengthy and detailed analysis coincides with MEND’s (Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta) recent threats to escalate violence across the Delta which has already contributed to a fall in Nigerian oil output by one-third. 

Best regards,
Kevin Rosner
editor@iags.org

 

SPECIAL REPORT: Checkmating the Resurgence of Oil Violence in the Niger Delta of Nigeria

SPECIAL REPORT: Checkmating the Resurgence of Oil Violence in the Niger Delta of Nigeria

Violence in and around the Niger Delta has plagued Nigerian oil output for the past decade.  For Africa’s most populous state, this violence has cut oil production by one-third and is a not only an economic but a human tragedy for a country that bases 90 percent of its GDP on its hydrocarbon wealth.  Environmental activism and militancy have been the response from the tribal groups indigenous to the Delta region.   Among the various group active across the region, MEND or the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta is probably the best known.  In August 2009, Dr. Victor Ojakorotu contributed an initial article to the Journal of Energy Security entitled, “Militancy and Oil Violence in the Niger Delta.”  Since then, Victor and twelve other African experts who focus their research on the problems that plague the Delta have assembled their thoughts into a new book entitled, “Checkmating the Resurgence of Oil Violence in the Niger Delta of Nigeria.” 
Concurrent with the book’s release come new reports that MEND is threatening new oil violence in the Delta which comes in the wake of the death of Nigerian President Alhaji Umaru Yar’Adua who had brokered an amnesty for thousands of Niger Delta militants in return for them laying down their weapons.  While MEND refused to take part in the amnesty program some of their commanders did.  For students, policy makers, and industry professionals interested and concerned about the roots of disquiet in the Niger Delta the text is an indispensible aid in better understanding the future of this rich and diverse region. 
Click here to access the full-text version of the book.

The Role of Turkey in Global Energy: Bolstering Energy Infrastructure Security

The Role of Turkey in Global Energy: Bolstering Energy Infrastructure Security

Turkey's unique geography as a bridge between Europe, Eurasia, and the Middle East places it at the cross-roads of global energy.  Providing both East-West and North-South energy corridors, the infrastructure that crosses its territory is increasingly important to global energy producers and consumers alike.  By 2012 it is estimated that between 6-7 percent of the world's oil will traverse Turkey.  This in turn has given the country the aspiration of becoming an energy hub, which, according to many, is important for satisfying Turkey's increasingly hungry energy-consuming public and for meeting the energy demands of Europe  which lies to its west.  Yet, according to JES contributor Hasan Alsancak, the protection of infrastructure security, particularly pipeline protection, deserves more attention in Turkish circles.    

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Closing the Gap Between Energy & National Security Policy

Energy security is one of the most salient emergent issues that has forced its way onto nations' national security agendas.  From the 2010 US Quadrennial Defense Review to the national security strategies of the United Kingdom and the Russian Federation, energy and its security play a dominant role in shaping the security strategies of these and many other nations.  But integrating energy and national security is not an easy task.  Confusion often comes in weighing the human security impact of national security policy against environmental or climate change imperatives.  While all three issues (energy, environment and climate change) are not mutually exclusive, they all three have different departure points and focus areas.  This article explores how the gap between energy and national security policy can be closed with human security as the defining consideration in integrating energy into a broader national security framework. 

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The Caspian's Unsettled Legal Framework: Energy Security Implications

The Caspian's Unsettled Legal Framework: Energy Security Implications

The Caspian is one of the most promising energy-rich areas of the world.  The Baku-Tiblisi-Ceyhan pipeline pumps a million barrels of oil a day from an Azerbaijani offshore field and transports it to Turkey's Mediterranean port of Ceyhan.  Paralleling this pipeline is the South Caucasus (gas) pipeline which enters Turkey from Georgia and then distributes the gas through the country's pipeline network.  Yet there could be much more regional oil and gas development.  One major barrier to potential development is disagreement regarding the legal status of the Caspian itself.  The sea's littoral states: Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Russia, Azerbaijan and Iran have collectively failed to come to a common understanding that would allow for further oil and gas exploitation.  Sohbet Karbuz explains why. 

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Energy Security-Water Resource Drivers

Energy Security-Water Resource Drivers

Energy demand is driving new thinking about water use and how to reduce the 'water-footprint' in energy extraction and power generation. As JES contributor Mike Hightower points out, "over 50 percent of daily water withdrawals in the US and about 25 percent of all daily non-agricultural fresh water consumption are for energy-related uses," which is a staggering figure by any account. For nations around the world, plagued by either low water availability or the lack of power generating capacity or both, the problem is understandably even more acute. Mike tackles the issue of how to balance future projected energy demand, increasing water stress and environmental imperatives in addressing human development goals.

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Canvassing the Cyber Security Landscape: Why Energy Companies Need to Pay Attention

Internet communications are one of the best examples of globalization, yet the development of internet based technologies have far outpaced our ability to protect them.  From extensive blackouts in the United States and Brazil, to SCADA vulnerabilities wherever key control systems are internet-exposed, aka internet-linked, the race is on to protect  information and the cyber-superhighway.  If ever there was a life-support system on which energy and power depends, it is the very systems and networks that drive them.  Bruce Averill and colleague Eric A.M. Luiijf call on all industry and national government stakeholders to take these threats seriously and to work cooperatively towards their solution. 

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China's Strategy for Information Warfare: A Focus on Energy

China's Strategy for Information Warfare: A Focus on Energy

Thinking about cyber or information warfare has been a part of Chinese military thinking for the past decade.  Catalyzed by the first Gulf War, information technologies proved their usefulness in the quick and agile victory of the United States and its allies over Saddam Hussein.  Since then, cyber-tools to infiltrate electricity grids and IT networks of major oil and gas concerns, cyber-espionage and data collection have graduated and become part of a major offensive against energy systems and networks around the world.  CNRS researcher Daniel Ventre provides a compelling account of the development of this strategy, with a focus on how the multiple concepts of information warfare have contributed to Chinese military doctrine.

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