Global Policy Forum

Oil and Natural Gas in Conflict Europe


Articles and Documents

2011 | 2009 | 2003 | 2002


Norway's $186 Billion Gas Loss to Cement Russian Grip on Supply (January 13, 2011)

Norway's dwindling supply of natural gas may produce shortfalls across Europe as soon as 2015. Royal Dutch Shell, an oil and gas company, cut its estimates of gas yet to be discovered in Norway by 31 percent. Norway is Europe's second largest gas supplier behind Russia. Increased reliance on Russia for natural gas complicates European energy security. But, increasing vulnerability may lead to a positive outcome - greater European development of renewable energy sources. (Bloomberg)



Defusing Russia's Energy Weapon (December 16, 2009)

Last winter, Russia demonstrated its readiness to use natural gas as a political instrument when it deliberately cut off gas supplies to Central and Eastern European countries. Beginning in 2011, the new Nord Stream pipeline on the floor of the Baltic Sea will allow Russia to deliver gas directly to Germany, thus bypassing traditional transit countries such as Poland and Ukraine while keeping Western European customers warm. Former foreign Minister of Denmark Uffe Ellemann-Jensen argues that the European Union should start building a common energy policy, so that no country would be left exposed to Russian pressure. (The Moscow Times)

Russia Gas Pipeline Heightens East Europe's Fears (October 12, 2009)

The construction of the Russian-German Nord Stream pipeline is driving a political wedge between Eastern and Western Europe. The new pipeline, which will run along the bed of the Arctic Sea, will allow Russia to export natural gas straight to Western Europe, thus bypassing Central and Eastern European states. With Western and Eastern states no longer depending on the same gas supply, former Soviet satellites are concerned that Russia will increasingly use energy blackmail against them and get away with it. But their fears - as well as considerations of European unity - are secondary in the struggle over resources by national and corporate interests.  (The New York Times)

Iran and the Pipelineistan Opera (October 1, 2009)

Two competing pipelines are under construction to bring natural gas to Europe. US-backed Nabucco and Russian-sponsored South Stream are both scheduled to be finished by 2015. The US is supporting Nabucco in the hope of bypassing Russia and ending Europe's dependence on Russian gas, which already represents 26% of the European gas market. The energy game is a key element of the geopolitical dynamic in the region, looming over every issue from sanctions on Iran to Turkey's accession to the EU. (TomDispatch)



Dirt and Diamonds in Elf Trial (April 2, 2003)

Thirty-seven defendants from the company that once was France's biggest company face trial involving the embezzlement of some $US200 million. Elf's executives paid tens of millions of dollars of bribes to secure contracts in oil-rich countries. (Nzoom)



Turkish Oil Project Raises Human Rights, Governance Concerns (September 17, 2002)

The World Bank plans to support an oil pipeline project with the help of unlimited Turkish security protection against "terrorists." Kurdish human rights groups argue that Turkey may use the ambiguous language of terrorism to commit human rights violations. (Bretton Woods Project)



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