6 April 2010

Energy Security Possibility of an Alliance against China - Editorial

Coal, oil, natural gas, water and nuclear energy are still prior on constructing the international strategy. This priority will be effective in the first quarter of 21st century. Partly determined rules on energy will be reshaped. Reconstructing the balances between suppliers and demanders will cause problems. This situation derives from the suppliers’ desire of having more control on their supplies. Regional minor conflicts will be maintained if big demanders continue to insist about holding their advantages in energy market. This fundamental factor which will determine the energy security and stability in 21st century, may establish two options:

1. Global depression caused by sudden increase of prices which is a result of climate change by the reactivation of the coal.
2. Finding solutions by giving reciprocative compensations and establishing stability after a international cooperation period.

Oil as Determiner

Countries’ hydrocarbon demand is increasing in accordance with economic enlargement. With this picture, it is foreseen that Europe’s dependency on both oil and gas will increased to a huge amount at the year 2020. Developing Eastern Europe will be effective on this increase. Another determiner of price increase is the slipping of the developed countries’ investments towards Eastern Europe because of the low labor cost. Those energy resources which are determiners of world powers’ strategy are mostly located in the Eurasia. %67 of world’s oil production is held in this region.

EU provides almost all of its oil demand from this region and this oil trafficking is so much effective on political power struggles. Europe desires to affect the political transformation of Caspian Countries. Caspian countries are getting closer to Russia against this tendency of Europe. Oil demand will increased by %33 in the future 25 years and when this situation is taken into account with western pressure, an upcoming crisis can be predicted.

Crisis would be more destructive if the Iran threat and Iraq’s instability come into the account.

Developing Economies

If US meets its energy demand, EU economy have difficulties because US has the highest amount of demand chart. Results of a distribution clash will be negative for developing countries especially Far East Market. Negative effects of this progress on a developed country Japan should be considered as well as China’s growth rate will be harmed from it. Growth curve is one of the main determinants of the energy security and stability.

General situation of known oil reserves in the world:

- Middle East oil reserves.
- North Africa oil reserves.
- West Africa oil reserves.
- Alaska oil reserves
- Latin America oil reserves
- Caspian oil reserves
- West Siberia oil reserves
- South China Sea oil reserves should taken into consideration.

These areas have vital importance for US, EU and developing countries especially for China. Domination conflicts upon those areas have a strategic importance. Strategies which are built in opposition to each other are establishing threats among energy security. Countries may risk the energy security because of their clashing strategies. New arrangements may appear into the agenda for energy security. Negotiations such Kyoto which do not finalized may endanger energy security more.

Clash of Needs

It is expected that US oil consumption will increase to 27.5 million barrels per day towards the year 2020. On the other hand US natural gas consumption will be 1.020 billion cbm in 2020 according to the calculations.

Oil and Natural gas reserves are mostly in Middle East, Caspian Region and Central Asia. Countries located in these regions are seen as unstable because of their regimes according to the consumer countries. Energy agreements are usually objected by their functioning and their sustainability.

West Africa gains importance in this process. US and EU sensibility upon this region increases because of the oil reserves in this region.

Sao Tome which is known with its rich oil reserves faced with interventions in the recent years. Liberia is also stressed with internal conflicts. All these conditions brings the US intervention on the region as an option. US is trying to take gain the advantage before EU just like US did in the Iraq Case.

Events which are established by global economic crisis are appeared with the objection of Euro may lead a closed trade war between US and EU. US Dollar reserve advantage over Euro, enforces Europe to choose alternative ways. According to the perspective of energy security and supplier countries, increasing demand of China and India should be considered.

Position of the Suppliers

Among the predictions brought up, existence of 70-150 billion barrels of oil in the Central Asia and Caspian Region is assumed. According to some analyzes this amount may reach to 200 billion barrels. According to all assumptions Central Asia oil reserves come up with its vulnerability to conflict just like West Africa.

After establishing bases in Afghanistan, US action of establishing bases between Georgia and Central Asia threatens the energy security. Russia and US are performing an open profile conflict while China and EU are performing low profile actions. Results of the struggle points out the Russia as the more powerful one. This situation may cause instability which could even affect China too. US states may intervene on the supplier countries which will try to establish partnerships against US interest. This kind of an action is a huge threat for European Energy Security.
Possibility of an Alliance against China
China’s growth rate and speed of growth shows the Chinese political and economic goal to own a hinterland in Eurasia. Transformation of China’s economic power into a political and military power will affect region countries Russia and India as well as US and EU.

Chinese hunger to Eurasia oil reserves and South China Sea oil reserves may direct this group of countries to establish a deterrent alliance in the region. Just like Kissinger’s strategy of playing the China card against USSR. Reverse of the Kissinger case may happen.

US behavior of breaking Russian Energy Monopoly may turn into a different direction. Washington will act towards the transporting Caspian and Central Asia oil to the West for preventing China to use these oil reserves as a last resort.

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