Energy security essay Jan 2010

Submitted By abhinav_khera
Words: 992
Pages: 4

Assess the relative importance of named players in the global supply of energy.
Global energy security involves a number of players with varying roles to play; key players include OPEC, National Governments and consumers and TNC’s. All of these players are stakeholders within the energy market and have a varying degree of responsibility within the energy game
Governments are responsible for energy resource supply, for example the UK government nationalised the coal industry, meaning that the government were in central control of the coal industry and imports/exports. Therefore this highlighted the importance as a key player in the energy industry. Governments have a vital responsibility of the national supply of energy through national policies. An example of this is the UK is the national policy statement for energy whereby they make decisions regarding the energy sector such as a quarter of the UK’s generating capacity is due to close by 2018 and new low carbon generation is required which is reliable, secure and affordable. Finished petroleum products are distributed from the refineries to around 50 major distribution terminals in the UK by pipeline (51%) and by sea via coastal tankers (34%) or rail (15%). Some of the coastal terminals also import finished products from abroad. There is an extensive network of private and Government owned pipelines in the UK, with around 4,800km of pipeline currently in use. The government also operates a separate oil pipeline system. The Local government are also important players in the supply industry, in areas such as supply and distribution such as fuel stations which dictate the distribution of fuel supplies such as oil, gas and coal to local areas. In conclusion governments have a role through the tax system, drilling and exploration licences and national policies on oil and availability. The growth in extraction from shale gas has made the US the worlds largest producer of natural gas. This has been made by the US government giving permission to oil companies to exploit shale gas in USA. Furthermore some of the biggest oil companies are government owned for example Gazprom is 50% owned by the Russian government. Russia exercises its power over former Soviet countries such as in 2004 when it cut off gas supplies to Ukraine, because it elected a pro-western government rather than a pro-Russian government. It occurred again in 2009 whereby Ukraine citizens suffered without heating for a week as the gas supply was cut for 28 days.
TNCS also play a key role in the global energy supply as they are responsible for exploration of oil so hold importance in securing supply for now and the future. They have a strong political influence relating to energy supply, for example Exxon Mobil – successfully lobbied the US government to gain access to federal lands for oil exploration. Furthermore Chevron Texaco lobbies on all energy issues, including the opening up the Arctic National Wildlife refuge in Alaska for oil drilling. GAZPROM, a Russian owned oil extraction and supplying company is the main one in Russia and Eastern Europe. Gazprom is the worlds largest gas supply company, it accounts for 92% of Russia’s gas production and provides 25% of EU’s natural gas. Furthermore it is the sole gas supplier to Slovakia and Estonia. Therefore this highlights the sheer importance of this TNC playing such an important role in the global energy supply as it predominantly supplies Russia’s population and without this TNC the 1.325 million population size of Estonia would be without energy or energy insecure. It is a TNC that provides oil for Russia and several countries in Eastern Europe. It is huge company that has 'monopolized' the energy market and controls resources in this area. It can cause geopolitical issues with other countries as it can be selective as to who it supplies with energy an example being in