Energy Case Studies

Various case studies on Energy Conflicts
1- Energy supply, demand and security
2- Impacts of energy security
3- Energy security and the future 

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  • Gazprom have control of 92% of Russia's gas production + is state owned
  • Dmitry Medvedev (current president) aims for Russia to become a world leader in the energy sector
  • Energy is considered to be Russia's economic/political weapon; Russia refers to it as an "instrument of foreign policy"
  • Energy Secure Nation
  • Declining in usage, however increasing in exports
  • If a country were to fall out with the Russian Gvnt. this could result in their gas being cut off
  • This would be the same if those supplied fell out with Gazprom
    --> Europe is supplied this way; everyone could potentially be cut off if one country came into conflict w/ Russia; Europe would then have no supply
    --> Slovakia is dependant upon this supply, however have an unstable gvnt meaning they are vulnerable at losing it
    --> Ukranian supplies were cut off in 2008; Ukraine changed to a pro-West gvnt as opposed to pro-Russian = higher costs ($230/1000 cubic metre)
    --> Belarus are on good terms with Russia/Gazprom = cheaper prices ($46/1000)
    --> There can be indirect and direct affects all over Europe 
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Gazprom Continued

  • East Siberia-Pacific Pipeline
    --> Japan + China are keen to have access to this supply; their resources are limited, but demand is growing
         --> good geographical location + have funds to afford
    --> originally, this pipeline instalment would have disrupted the home of the home of remaining Amur Leopards but was changed due to logistical, safety + environmental objections
    --> Russian will have a new pipeline (may possibly supply N.America as well) 
    --> Russian however do see China as an economic threat due to their rapid economy growth (10% per annum)
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ANWR - Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

Alaska - protected area w/ oil reserves (Prudhoe Bay oilfield nearly exhausted)
-Chevron Texaco - lobbies all energy issues inc. ANWR development

  • For (exploit) - 71% Alaskans + 58% Americans
  • Bush - would keep US economy growing,
    -would make US less dependant on imports
    Republican - from Texas; owed money to oil companies for presidential campaigns/promotion
  • Palin - only 2000 acres out of 20,000 square miles of land
  • Alaskans - provide jobs for locals + Americans
                   --> allows Alaska to develop energy security
                   - doesn't affect Caribou
  • $50billion to US economy
  • 730,000 jobs --> multiplier effect
  • Pipelines built high to avoid Caribou 
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ANWR - Continued

  • Against (preserve)
  • Obama - would irreversibly damage protected area without creating sufficient oil supplies
    --> negligible economic impact
  • Greatly affects biodiversity - US Fish + Wildlife Service (biased)
  • Polar Bear threat --> invasion on their land
  • Locals affected - Inupiat of Kaktovik + Gurch'in
  • 500 oil spills
  • Decrease of 2cents per petrol gallon
  • "Oil Lobby"
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Niger Delta


  • 1957 - petrol discovered in Ogoniland
  • 1960 - Nigeria becomes independent
             - Shell + Chevron extract oil
  • 1980                                          --> oil generates 25% of GDP
                                                      (does not filter to locals)
  • 2008 - Oil = 60% of GDP
             - Becomes Middle Income Country

From 1960 until present: 10m barrels of oil spilt; this does not make news in                                                   comparison to the Gulf Coast spill 
                                        --> oil seeped out due to no recognition/cleaning ever
                                              during 50 years
                                               --> no fish; oil covers river bed 

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Niger Delta Continued


- profit led extraction of oil from Delta for 50+ years --> leaking


Social - locals lost main source of food + income through loss of fish due to crude                oil in rivers
           - not benefiting from any money made + have seen no improvements

Political - nothing done due to poor connections; companies, (Shell), supply EU                      with oil
               --> do not want to lose out, hence also do nothing

Environmental - all surroundings have been polluted
                          --> loss of habitat + wildlife - most areas covered in crude oil 

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Niger Delta Players

  • Shell (TNC)
  • Nigerian Gvnt (member of OPEC)
  • Researchers (Marine Biologists)
  • Organisations (EU, UN etc)
  • Local people, (Farmers, Fishermen etc)
  • Environmental Pressure Groups, (FOE)
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Turning Canada Tar Sands Into Oil


  • (In 2000-5, $86b+ spent on frontier hydrocarbons - difficult)
  • Oil reserves in tar sand forms could be 180b. barrels of oil
  • Commercial production began in 1967; only recently due to rising oil proces that Exxon Mobil, Shell + BP are interested
  • Alberta's tar sands produced 1million barrels/day in 2003
    --> expected 3.5m by 2011
          --> by 2030 plan to produce 5m --> more than Nigeria                                                                                                              + Venezuela (OPEC)
  • Mined through opencast mining/pumped out
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Canada Tar Sands - Players


  • Mine workers
  • Oil companies (Exxon Mobil, Shell, BP)
  • Canadian Association of Petrol Producers - CAPP
  • Government
  • Alberta Energy Research Institute - AERI
  • Environmentalists
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Costs + Benefits


  • Provide alternative source of oil --> by 2030 could produce 16% of N.American demand
  • Mining companies have to reclaim any disturbed land (lowers environmental damage)
  • Oil = 20% of Canadian exports - 2007 = crucial for economy


  • Expensive - $15/barrel compared to $2 for conventional oil
  • Energy Intensive, large source of ghgs (AERI), up to 5 barrels of water needed per barrel of oil
  • Huge quantities of waste sand + environmental destruction
  • Removal of trees, shrubs + soil - 470km² of forest removed
  • Lakes of toxic waste cover 130km²
  • Excessive Sulphur Dioxide (SO2) levels --> acid rain --> erosion
  • Moose - 33 times same level of arsenic in habitat
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