Journal of Energy Security

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CENRG

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Beyond Oil and Gas: Kazakhstan Bets its Future on Reform

With escalation on and near Russian soil, Western Europe is searching for an alternative gas and oil supplier; Kazakhstan may be the likely candidate.  Kazakhstan is in the midst of modernizing, and is enthusiastically looking for opportunities to participate in the global economy.  The country is among the top 15 in the world when it comes to essential oil reserves and has expressed willingness to develop these reserves. Kazakhstan also partnered with China in the creation of large energy cooperation projects which are part of the New Silk Road.

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Turkey threatens the major prospects for Eastern Med gas supply

With the development of the Aphrodite offshore natural gas field and the potentially game-changing East Med pipeline, the Eastern Mediterranean can and should play a vital role in ensuring European energy security. Turkey does not recognize Cyprus as a sovereign country and is attempting to block Cypriot oil and gas exploration, claiming the share of Turkish Cypriots in any hydrocarbon wealth.  The large-scale undertaking brings many economic and political benefits to all the countries involved, including Turkey.  However, the project is not likely to be realized without Turkey’s participation, and such cooperation is not likely without the US and EU pressure on Ankara.

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Systemic Violence Threatens Middle East Oil Outlook

Even though there are vast, cheap reserves of oil and gas in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), political instability remains as the main barrier to exploration and production. The current oil slump has hurt investment worldwide, nevertheless the recovery period appears to favor investment in North America, the Caspian, and Africa. The OPEC report issued in late May noted that “generally speaking, for non-OPEC fields already in production, even a severe low price environment will not result in production cuts, since high-cost producers will always seek to cover a part of their operating costs.”

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Ukraine’s Tax Hike Will Strangle the Domestic Oil and Gas Sector

The Ukrainian government is threatening the future of its already struggling oil and gas sector by introducing new taxes. The royalty, which taxes output sales, together with the tax rates of 70% for state-owned production companies, 55% on wells under 5,000 meters depth, and 35% on wells over 5,000 meters will lead to a dramatic decrease in domestic production and increase Ukraine’s dependence on Russia. For Ukraine this is a question of survival as it cannot continue its dependence on Russian gas for geopolitical reasons and sending Western investors packing would be suicidal.
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US experts: Southern Gas Corridor critically important, crucial for Europe

As the military clash in Ukraine and the conflict between Russia and the West escalates, U.S. government top energy officials and leading experts on the South Caucasus energy and politics assembled at a Washington DC conference on “Security and Energy Implications for the South Caucasus after Ukraine.” The January 28th event was cosponsored by the Kennan Institute of the Wilson Center and the newly formed Center for Energy, Natural Resources, and Geopolitics (CENRG) at the Institute for the Analysis of Global Security.

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