In a moment of geopolitical uncertainties, fluid changes on an international level, and increase fo-cus on terroristic threats, this article wants to discuss the possible risks for energy infrastructure and examine how grave they are. Speaking with representative of the industry, think tanks, and academia, we try to shed special light on the infrastructures in Turkey and in the nearby region.
In the last few months, lots of discussions have revolved around the economics and politics of the proposed Nord Stream II project. Nord Stream is a gas pipeline bringing Russian natural gas directly to Germany through the Baltic Sea, allowing Moscow to bypass European transit countries such as Poland, Belarus, and crisis-hit Ukraine. Nord Stream II would double the pipeline’s current capacity, from 55 to 110 billion cubic metres per year (bcm/y).
Algeria is one of the most important African producers and exporters of oil and natural gas. Discovered during the final part of the colonial era (1956), hydrocarbon resources were soon exploited by French energy companies (1958) and subsequently by the Algerian national oil company Sonatrach (1963), providing the necessary economic resources fora development strategy based on import substitution.
Last month, ISPI Energy Watch analysed opposite interests around Nord Stream 2 and the reasons why Nord Stream 2 could face hurdles. European laws were defined as the “main weapons” of those countries opposing the project.
Italy is traditionally a big consumer of natural gas and it represents the third largest gas market in Europe, preceded only by Germany and the UK. In 2013 Italian final consumption amounted to 68 billion cubic meters (Bcm), 15% of the whole EU market.
Iraq is expected to be one of the fastest growing countries in the world and the country could experience further growth, if Oil & Gas legislation and regulatory reform are approved. Recent years have clearly shown that Iraq’s socio-economic problems can be attributed to the ineffective use of oil revenues and to weak institutions, which have become a constraint to delivering even basic services. This paper shows that Iraq has made limited economic progress and will demonstrate that without sound institutions and social cohesion it is impossible to make significant economic progress. Since oil is the country main drive for economic growth, the paper will discuss the potential of implementing the “National Energy Strategy” to meet domestic energy needs; foster the growth of a diversified national economy; improve the standard of living of Iraqi citizens and create employment. The analysis will also demonstrate that the new energy strategy could make Iraq one of the most powerful economies in the region but that this is highly contingent on its having sound and robust institutions. If this is not achieved, the country could move towards what is commonly referred to as the “Oil Curse”.
Kamal Field Al-Basri and Mudhar Al-Sebahi, Iraqi Institute for Economic Reform, Baghdad, Iraq.