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Home Archive Spring 2014 Issue

Spring 2014 Issue

Will Korea be the next Ukraine?

Russia has just written off 90 percent of North Korea’s debt in exchange for Pyongyang’s agreement to build a natural gas pipeline that would run from Russia through North Korea to South Korea, the world’s second largest gas importer. Indeed, while the U.S. invests a great deal of political capital on reducing Ukraine’s dependence on Gazprom, South Korea, its key ally in Asia might soon be heading in the opposite direction.  Vladimir Putin has demonstrated how competent he is as a spoiler of U.S. foreign policy in Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Central Asia. Having his Gazprom meddling in the heart of the combustible Korean Peninsula is an idea which America should resist with all vigor.
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Doing the Numbers on European Natural Gas Security

Doing the Numbers on European Natural Gas Security

A team of researchers lead by mathematician Dr. Rui Carvalho at the Centre for Mathematical Sciences,  University of Cambridge,  have come up with a model that demonstrates how Europe can bolster its natural gas resiliency through cooperation and access to each others’ energy markets.  Natural gas pipelines, and moreover the networks they create, are expensive to build and even more so to operate if not utilized at or near capacity.  Therefore these researchers set about the task of calculating how in times of conflict or crisis European economies could weather a major disruption in gas supplies without adding new capacity.  The result was the publication this month of their research in a report entitled, “Resilience of natural gas networks during conflicts, crises and disruptions.”

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Squandering America's Gas Bonanza

On March 26th, European leaders asked US President Obama to help in licensing the export of US derived shale gas to the continent.  Such a request comes at a difficult time for all concerned.  Tough and potentially costly decisions will have to be made in terms of directing America's natural gas to its best end-use.  Gal Luft points out there has been an absence of significant discussion about how America's shale gas revolution can benefit one of the US economy's most important sectors-transportation. 

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Competition Announced for Innovation in the Transportation Fuel Sector

Competition Announced for Innovation in the Transportation Fuel Sector
The Office of the Prime Minister of Israel has announced a competition for innovation in the fuels for transportation sector.  The winner(s) of the competition will receive $US 1 million for global innovation, a scientific or a technological breakthrough in the field of competing fuels in transportation. Details follow.  
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Critical Infrastructure Cyber Security: An Interview with Dr. Vincent Berk

Recent and ongoing security breaches at companies operating critical energy infrastructure have everyone concerned.  There is a long way to go towards harmonizing and regularizing network security protocols across industries as Dr. Vincent Berk, CEO of FlowTraq a network security solutions provider, recently pointed out in an interview concerning cybersecurity with the Journal of Energy Security.    

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March Madness: The Emperor Has No Clothes

For many Americans and foreign alumni who’ve passed through the American university system, the month of March is known as March Madness.  It is a month that basketball fans are glued to their televisions following the college basketball championship round-robin.    

Elsewhere around the world March Madness in 2014 took on a much more sinister character. Russia’s take-over of Crimea is only the latest in a long series of bullying incursions that the world’s largest country has taken over smaller regional ones.  Abkhazia in Georgia and Transnistria in Moldova jump to mind as the manifestation of Russian mingling in the affairs of states under former Soviet and now Russian influence. 

In the past disputes between Russian nationalists, lead by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, and its Ukrainian neighbor have been obscured through the fish-eyed lens of energy issues where Russia’s displeasure of ...

Israel’s Zero Gas Option: Take II

Australian energy giant Woodside Petroleum which had previously agreed to buy a 30% stake in Israel's Leviathan gas field withdrew from the deal's signing ceremony at the last minute due to disagreements with the Israeli Tax Authority. What was likened to a bride escaping from her wedding prior to the "I do" moment, came as a shock to Israel's energy sector. Gal Luft analyzes.
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