Geopolitics of Energy

The issue of energy security emerged in 2006 as one of the most pressing concerns of the international community.

The research theme ‘Geopolitics of energy’ investigates linkages between three key issues: global warming, insecurity of oil supplies, and growing dependency on Persian Gulf oil reserves. Within this global context, the rapid emergence of China as a major oil-importer  is leading to dramatic changes in the dynamics of the energy market, giving rise to new tensions between old and new stakeholders. The lagging supply of oil, in combination with political risk factors in the Gulf region has driven up the oil price and caused many governments to worry for their national energy security and take various precautionary measures. This may create new fault lines for future conflicts. The need to find stable markets, notably for gas, has also become an imperative for exporters such as Russia, and great geopolitical games are going on around various projects for the construction of pipelines and LNG plants. There is at present a strong need to understand the relationship between global energy security, climate change and Middle Eastern geopolitics. This requires cooperation between researchers with different disciplinary backgrounds. It is notably essential to bridge the gap between political scientists and economists in order to understand the interplay between geopolitics and market forces.

A number of projects have been completed or are starting. This list provides and overview of this research.

Pavel Baev:
Russian energy complex and Europe.
Geopolitics of the Caspian region

Halvard Buhaug:
Petroleum Resources (PETRODATA)

Nils Petter Gleditcsh:
Governance of Natural Resources 
Human Security and Climate Change

Hilde Henriksen Waage
Regime stability in the Middle East