Energy security is a multi-faceted phrase in the modern times, simply because it is no longer a straightforward matter of making sure that local energy products and hydrocarbon deposits remain enough for future use. The simple fact is, that today energy security is mainly a political issue, which forms the pith and substance of the basic decision where modern wars are to be fought and how. Daniel Yergin has called the quest for oil as the ‘prize’, which leads to modern wars and shaping of modern policies of superpowers. Oil is obviously a contentious issue in today’s politics and international relations and for a noteworthy main reason too. It is a scarce resource with its reserves depleting in mature provinces, which have been ‘over-drilled’ around the world. It is purchased and sold as a commodity in the financial marketplace and its cost has a clear effect on a country’s GDP and international trade revenues. For individual countries, which are able to export it, it poses the necessity for a safe marketplace the place it will not be sold too cheap. For those countries, which need to import it, there is a necessity for more affordable markets with a safe flow of the commodity and stable prices.
Yergin’s contention that energy security is amongst one of the most pressing concerns for governments today stands true when we look at the various international treaties and undertakings by G8 nations in order to ensure energy security. There is a clear insecurity on behalf of most of many powerful nations when it comes to making sure that their future needs for fuel/oil are met. Oil runs their industry, transportation and also the geo-targeted financial markets. The availability of oil and the cost per barrel of a similar remains something, which is very carefully watched by banks, governments and also economic cartels worldwide.
Obtaining a clear view of the parameters of energy security and an indication of how jurisdictions go about making an attempt to attain it, is important to the way the term is seen and interpreted by modern international policy making organizations like the UN.For example the Saudi Arabia has been dominating the worldwide energy marketplace since the 1960’s and its primary prospective buyers are the found around the world. It is the greatest exporter and producer of crude oil. Nonetheless in the future its ability to go on making high profits from the sale of oil is all set to erode as the USA discovers better sources of acquiring more affordable oil. One alternative for the USA is Iraqi oil. Apart from using aggressive methods and war tactics to enhance its oil reserves, the heartland of the states is also benefitting from the shale oil revolution, which has transformed the worldwide energy scenario. In truth Iraq and North America are each preparing to ramp up their production capacity and Russia has decided to enhance their standing in the energy marketplace by eyeing the Arctic region. In the mean time Saudi Arabia is trying to diversify its energy sources with an increasingly lowered capacity for exporting oil and meeting local demand at the same time. The energy mix of all competing economies, which are significant oil exporters, is also transforming and various steps to enhance energy security through the development of new technologies are being taken.
It is true that there is a clear ‘trend’ in the Oil and Gas world, whereas the world demand is moving from crude to shale, oil to gas, typical to unconventional energy sources. This is owing to the volatility of oil costs and an increased uncertainty of the supply of Oil and Gas.The USA’s concern for energy security is apparent from its interest in shale revolution in collaboration with fracking technologies. This is being addressed since the last one decade by declaring a war offensive against oil-rich developing locations and occupying them on political grounds. It is hoped which in these steps aimed at energy security the heartland of the states will overtake Saudi Arabia and Russia as top oil producer by 2020 and by 2030 USA are net oil exporter. North America has the third-largest demonstrated oil reserves all over the world, i after Venezuela and Saudi Arabia. Nonetheless now, in the pursuit of diversification for better energy security, it is turning its attention to its estimated 388 Tcf of technically recoverable shale gas resources. Energy security is also seen at the basis of oil industry from a supplier’s direct of view. Russia as the greatest oil producer and gas exporter continues to contest with Saudi Arabia for energy dominance. The eyes of the worldwide prospective buyers of oil and gas are now set on the oil reserves in the Arctic, which secures an estimated 412 multi-trillion barrels of oil.
On a final note it is no surprise that oil remains those contentious issue given the high cost of oil extraction and exploration. The potential cost of drilling for oil in the Arctic is too elevated as its reserves are notoriously hard to reach and pose quite a challenge due to the cold climate, poor infrastructure and the lack of local legal frameworks to invite investment there in the oil sector.
The USA’s current access to Iraq’s oil reserves is also highly dependent upon reconstruction endeavors and an unwavering political climate in Iraq in the future. Until the international oil production and economic landscape changes, it can be seen that the current set of competitors in the international marketplace will continue to be led by Russia, North America and Saudi Arabia.