Candidate Tips & Advice
Energy Security is the hot political issue of our time. The bottom line is that the world requires access to cheap energy sources and will continue to do so. Consumption is set to rocket over the coming decades at a time when traditional supply is beginning to dwindle. This gives Governments around the world a monumental set of circumstances and challenges with which they must work to find a solution. The only way to find a solution is to work together, a notion that is contrary to most country’s ideas of energy security.
There are two overriding factors that make energy security a difficult topic to agree on. Firstly, is the uneven distribution around the world of the primary resources we need for energy – coal, oil and gas. Secondly, is the uneven distribution of usage and supply. For example, it may well be the Gulf States have the lion share of the oil but it continues to be the US that consumes the most. This may change as both China and India become addicted to the energy they need to fuel the boom in their economies.
These two circumstances can led to manipulation of prices for economic and political ends. For example recent disputes between Belarus and Russia led to the gas supply to most of Western Europe being switched off. Or, the 1970s oil crisis triggered by OPEC to push up the price of a barrel of oil. These may seem like isolated incidents now but they will become more and more common as time goes on and as countries flex their energy muscles.
Energy is such a necessity in the modern world that it has become a target for terrorist groups. The Oil and Gas industry recognises that with rising terrorism comes the distinct and real possibility that infrastructure such as pipelines, depots and even end user points like petrol stations may be targeted in the future.
Another layer, which is often not discussed when the subject of energy security comes up is who controls the oil. While many of the States that have oil and gas are willing to co-operate and work with the international community and transnational businesses, some are not. The question remains, how can an Oil and Gas company deal with such countries and the dictators that run them at the same time as remaining ethical?
There are no easy answers to any of these aspects of energy security. However the fact that the problems are known and are debated by Governments, in conjunction with the businesses that operate at the spade end, is a good thing. It is only by recognising the challenges that we begin to take steps to address them. Energy security is in all our interests, from the individual filling their car up at the pump to the Oil and Gas companies struggling to find ways to maintain sustainable development.
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