The New Security Environment for European Gas: Worsening Geopolitics and Increasing Global Competition for LNG

In 2006, security of European gas supply became a very topical subject following the cuts in Russian supplies to Ukraine in the first days of the year which had the consequence of restricting the availability of supplies to some European countries. Much of the subsequent discourse has been concerned with ‘the arithmetic of gas security’ expressed as current and projected national or collective dependence of European countries on non-OECD suppliers (or groups of suppliers) over the next 15– 25 years. Increasing dependence is directly correlated with growing insecurity, defined as the likelihood that gas exporting countries will cut off, or threaten to cut off, supplies to importing countries in support of their commercial and political (foreign policy) demands. The European Union (EU) has responded to the prospect of growing import dependence with the publication, since 2000, of two Green Papers and a security of supply Directive.

By: Jonathan Stern

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