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Home Archive August 2013 Issue

August 2013 Issue

Iraq's Oil Police

Militarizing oil interests and assets is not something that oil companies openly attest or subscribe to based on their interests in maintaining their public, reputational value.  However actions speak larger than words.  The government of Ecuador has an interesting relationship with foreign oil companies as JES contributor Nicolai Due-Gundersen points out in his analysis of Iraq’s oil law and the potential inroads this law could provide to private military contractors (PMCs)  in continuing their security activities in Iraq.  In the meantime, Iraq has created an ‘oil police’ that Due-Gundersen maintains is the key to limiting the latitude of PMCs working in the Iraqi oil sector. 

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The Hydrocarbon Potential of the Republic of Cyprus and Nicosia’s Export Options

The Hydrocarbon Potential of the Republic of Cyprus and Nicosia’s Export Options

The Republic of Cyprus’ aspirations for a gas bonanza presently hang with pending developments of their Aphrodite natural gas field and the exploratory drilling that will take place there shortly.  However the unknowns in the development path Cypriot gas will take to bring it ultimately to market appear as complex as the geopolitics of the region.   Professor Theodoros Tsakiris deconstructs the landscape for us with a view towards grounding the reader with a solid understanding of what ultimately is at stake for Cyprus, the eastern Mediterranean  and the European Union in building a more robust and secure energy supply infrastructure.  

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Eastern Mediterranean Gas in Focus

The issue of energy security is often cast with a rather narrow net inordinately focused on security of supply issues (with oil and gas typically at the forefront of this discussion).  This bias is readily understood in practical terms.  We understand simply and immediately an energy supply problem if we pull up to the gas pump and there is no product to put in the tank.  So while supply security is admittedly an essential component of the energy security genre, a singular focus on this aspect alone skews a broader and more profound understanding of how energy, and particularly power, if denied, is part of the larger energy-security and for that matter human landscape. 

Authors Michael Bruno and Graham Warwick in a recent article written for Aviation Week & Space Technology gave pause for reflection on just how broad and complex this landscape is when they wrote on the changing nature of ho...

Ten years after the Northeast Blackout: How secure is our grid?

Ten years ago, every city between Detroit and Ottawa, including New York, turned dark in what became known as the Northeast blackout of 2003, the most severe power outage to ever occur in the industrialized world. What lessons were learned and what remains to be done?
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Islands in the Stream: The Compressed Natural Gas Grid as an Energy Security Enhancer

Islands in the Stream: The Compressed Natural Gas Grid as an Energy Security Enhancer

Paradigm shifts in thinking and innovation may be brought about by design or disaster; remember the adage  ‘disaster is the mother of invention.’ In this article, contributor Michael Hallett calls on us to re-examine the panoply of threats and challenges to national electricity grids (the paradigm) and to make a pro-active paradigm shift today before disaster happens.  Specifically the paradigm shift Hallett asks the reader to consider is the utility of parallel compressed natural gas (CNG) networks-in a world increasingly awash in gas-for bolstering electricity supply security that concurrently could keep the lights on and provide fuel diversity in transportation markets.

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The Underbelly of Eastern Mediterranean Gas

There is truth to the rumor that there is natural gas under the sea in the eastern Mediterranean. How much gas that can be commercially exploited is another matter altogether.  Aside from the confusion that eastern Med-gas hyperbole engenders, is the animosity it contributes to already fractious relations among nations in the region.  Cooperation not confrontation is what is needed to create reliable long-term markets for what exploitable natural gas can provide to the citizens and nations of this region as Sohbet Karbuz argues in this succinct analysis of the eastern Med-gas debate.
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Protecting Offshore Oil and Gas Installations: Security Threats and Countervailing Measures

Protecting Offshore Oil and Gas Installations: Security Threats and Countervailing Measures

One of the least explored but increasingly important areas of critical energy infrastructure protection concerns offshore oil and gas installations.  The threat environment encompasses potential attacks from terrorists and other disgruntled groups to sabotage carried out by employees of oil and gas companies themselves.  Mikhail Kashubsky who is with the Centre for Customs and Excise Studies in Australia explores the threat environment for these installations in the first past of a three-part series for the Journal of Energy Security

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Reliable and Sustainable Power Grids: Interview with Mr. Terry Boston

Providing safe and reliable electricity while incorporating generated power from renewable and sustainable resources is a major challenge for the world’s transmission operators. Recently the JES had an opportunity to exchange some questions and answers with Mr. Terry Boston, president of GO15, an association representing 70% of delivered power worldwide.  Mr. Boston, during his day-job, has been CEO of PJM Interconnection, a regional transmission organization that controls the movement of wholesale electricity in all or part of 13 US states in addition to the District of Columbia, for the past four years. He is a US vice president of the International Council of Large Electric Systems and vice president of the Consortium for Electric Reliability Technology Solutions. 

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Book Review: Shale Gas: The Promise and the Peril

Book Review: Shale Gas: The Promise and the Peril
Vikram Rao’s Shale Gas: the Promise and the Peril provides a critical overview about the role of the United States’ vast shale gas resources in America’s overall energy mix.  Rao concisely forges an ambitious, comprehensive analysis on what shale gas exploitation means for environmental stewardship, transportation, national security, jobs, and America’s geopolitical standing.  Mark Donig reviews this recent and important book.
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