Energy Geopolitics and Development
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Economy and Territory Transport, Energy and Territory Energy: Geopolitics and Development Adolfo Calatrava García el, is the study of the oil market. Since though the end of open fighting, in May Universidad Autónoma 1970, world energy consumption has 2003, raised hopes that the country de Madrid almost doubled. Between 2001 and would be pacified and its oil produc- 2002, primary energy consumption in- tion would be developed (Iraq is the Alejandro V. Lorca Corrons creased 2.6%. In spite of this, oil con- country with the second largest proven Jean Monnet Chair sumption decreased slightly, falling oil reserves, with more than 10.5% of Universidad Autónoma 0.7%, and this decrease has continued world reserves in 2002), the uncertain- de Madrid in the first months of 2003. However, ties continue due to the attacks by re- the forecasts are for growth in coming sistance groups. Since the 70’s, the oil Energy can be viewed as a basic fac- years. It is vital to take into account in- markets have undergone a regionali- tor of any civilization in the course of creases in energy consumption in any zation process by which each of the History. At present, and for more than analysis of the evolution of the energy three main centres of energy con- 200 years, our societies’ energy sup- situation and its geopolitical implica- sumption, USA, EU and Asia-Pacific ply is provided mostly by fossil fuels: tions. The reason is that it is vital that (basically Japan, China and India), oil, gas and coal. Between them, they the energy markets, and the oil market in have obtained their supplies from the account for almost 90% of primary en- particular, be able to cover increases closest producing markets. In the case ergy consumption in 2002. Although in demand. If imbalances should arise of the United States and the EU, this the use of nuclear and renewable due to excessive competition caused policy sought to decrease the high de- (wind, hydroelectric, solar…) energies by a decrease in supply, oil prices pendence these regions had on im- has increased in recent years, it is un- would quickly escalate, triggering se- ports from the Persian Gulf. These re- able to cover the demand. In addition, vere economic crises in net consumer gions produce less oil than they nuclear energy is rejected by a large countries. Another important data for consume. Even so, North America ac- part of society because of the danger analysing the energy markets is the counts for almost 20% of oil produc- posed by accidents in nuclear power evolution of oil prices per barrel. The tion in 2002 and West Europe almost plants and the problem of dealing with prices can be used to measure differ- 10% (EU plus Norway). During the radioactive waste. Within these fuels, ent market situations, although they same period, USA consumed 26% of the main energy source is oil. This re- only have a serious impact if the the world oil production and the EU source dominates energy geopolitics changes are abrupt. In July 2002, a countries almost 18%. and is an essential factor in general barrel of Brent costed about 25 dol- The world’s oil-producing regions are geopolitics. In 2002, oil accounted for lars. This price was maintained until the headed by the Persian Gulf, with 65% 37.5% of the primary energy con- end of 2002. From then on, the price of proven reserves in 2002; the Eura- sumed in the world, compared with increased until it reached almost 35 sian area (Europe, Russia and the 24.2% and 25.4% for natural gas and dollars per barrel in July 2003. The oth- Caspian region) accounted for barely coal, respectively. However, it should er types of crude have followed a simi- 10%, with South and Central America be remembered that oil derivatives are lar trend. The reasons for this increase having the same percentage. The North virtually the only fuel used in a vital are, first of all, the strike at the State- American reserves amount to less than strategic sector: transport. In addition, run Venezuelan oil company during the 5% while those of Africa account for at present, the crude oil market is the first weeks of December 2002, which 7.5%; of this, 4% is concentrated in the only one that is flexible enough to cre- drastically reduced oil exports from South Mediterranean countries. The re- ate a world trade space, although nat- Venezuela (the world’s fourth largest mainder corresponds to Asia-Pacific. ural gas will become increasingly im- exporter in 2002, with almost 2.5 mil- Although these figures may vary as new portant in coming years. lion barrels per day). And, with a deep- oilfields are found, since late 2002, Because of this, an indispensable er impact, the Iraq crisis since the be- most of the new finds have been con- component of any geopolitical energy ginning of 2003, culminating in the centrated in the Gulf of Guinea. Thus, study, whether at global or regional lev- invasion of the country in March. Al- the fundamental importance of the Mid- dle East (Persian Gulf and North Africa) Canal and the Sumed oil pipeline) and trade has the French, Spanish and in the world oil market is undeniable. In from the Russian Black Sea port of Turkish ports as its main destinations. 2002, the United States imported Novorosiisk (through Turkish straits). A As liquefaction of natural gas becomes about 11.4 million barrels per day of oil small proportion of the exports heading more commonplace, which makes it and it is the world’s largest importer. for the United States also passes much easier to transport, trade of this Panorama: the Mediterranean Year 20% of this was supplied from the Per- through the Mediterranean. There is al- energy source will increase significant- sian Gulf region, and another 20% from so a traffic of refined products in the ly in the Mediterranean. From July Venezuela, Nigeria and North Africa. reverse direction, from north to south, 2002 to July 2003, about 21.5% of the For 40% of its imports, it depends on although this is decreasing as the Mid- world’s liquefied gas trade took place OPEC countries. Another 30% is im- dle East oil exporting countries build around the Mediterranean. ported from its neighbours Canada and their own refineries, both to cover do- These figures alone are ample proof of Mexico, while the rest is bought from mestic consumption and to export this the importance of the Mediterranean South America, North Sea and various type of product. Between July 2002 in the energy field. However, we should African countries. The country’s inten- and May 2003, about 300,000 barrels also consider a qualitative value: a two- tion is to increase its purchases on the per day of oil crossed the Suez Canal way dependence is created across the American continent and the Gulf of southwards, of which 80% were re- Mediterranean, in energy terms, be- Guinea. However, in spite of this, the fined products. tween its north and south shores. The foreseeable significant growth in its During 2002, about 3.5 million barrels EU, and in particularly the southern EU demand will inevitably increase its de- per day entered the Suez Canal and countries, import a significant percent- pendence on the Persian Gulf in com- the Egyptian port of Sidi Kerir on the age of their energy requirements from ing years. Mediterranean from the Persian Gulf the North African countries. At the Med. 2003 In 2002, Japan imported almost 80% region. More than 90% of this was same time, these countries receive an of its crude oil from the Persian Gulf. bound for the EU. During the same pe- essential cash flow to carry out their Although the percentages are lower, riod, 2.6 million barrels per day were economic and social development.1 the same trend can be observed for the exported from the North African coun- This dual dependence was already ob- other countries in the Asia-Pacific tries, of which 1.75 million barrels per served in the Declaration of Barcelona region, due to the lack of reserves in day were destined for European coun- in 1995, which gave birth to the Euro- that region. In 2002, China imported tries. Finally, about 1.7 million barrels Mediterranean Partnership, and which nearly 40% of its oil needs from the per day crossed the Turkish straits, al- devotes a specific chapter to the sub- Persian Gulf. However, in coming most all of it bound for the EU. In total, ject of energy. From that year onwards, 190-191 years, this percentage will increase the movement of crude oil in the a series of Ministerial Conferences drastically. Mediterranean amounted to 7.8 million have been organised among the asso- In 2002, the EU imported almost 12 barrels per day in 2002, somewhat less ciate countries, stressing security of million barrels per day, 80% of its total than 18% of the total world crude oil supply, free trade and environmental requirements. According to Eurostat, trade in 2002. These figures will tend protection. In May 2003, an Euro- 27.5% of this was supplied from East to increase, at least in absolute figures, Mediterranean Ministerial Conference Europe, mainly from the Russian Fed- due to the growing demand for oil. was held in Athens. At this Confer- eration; 24.6% from the Persian Gulf; As regards natural gas, Algeria is the ence, it was agreed to develop the almost 20% from Norway; 16.4% from source of most of the exports sent goals that had already been proposed, North Africa; and 4.1% from West across the Mediterranean. In 2002, specifying that all the sectors involved Africa. In other words, about 45% of 29.3 billion cubic metres were sold should draw up the «Priorities for the imports cross the Mediterranean, through the gas pipelines that con- period 2003-2006». These priorities amounting to almost 5.5 million barrels nects Algeria with Spain and Italy (and should include shipping safety prob- per day. its branches to Portugal and Slovenia). lems due to the increase in energy traf- The Mediterranean is one of the plan- Also, 32.1 billion cubic metres were fic and the development and funding of et’s main energy exchange centres, exported as liquefied gas in tankers. Of North-South and South-South trade concentrating the oil and natural gas this, 26.8 billion was supplied from Al- networks. In any case, the priorities will exports to the EU from North Africa, geria and the rest from the Persian Gulf be given final form at the meetings that the Persian Gulf (through the Suez countries (particularly Qatar). This follow of the Energy Forum. 1 At least in theory, as resources are distributed unequally in each country.