Energy Geo-politics of Russia and the Global Energy Security

Ken Koyama
JEL codes: 
IEEJ Paper

The world energy market is undergoing a period of great turbulence, and major challenges to global energy security are emerging. Under the current global economic crisis, the world energy demand is likely to stagnate for a couple of years ahead. But in the long run, world energy demand is
expected to rise again (China as a centerpiece), when the global economy recovers from the recession. Taking into account of various problems and constraints with regard to supply side, including difficulties to access to resources, unfavorable environment for investment, geopolitical
uncertainties, etc, one of the most important challenges is whether the global supply of energy will keep expanding smoothly in line with energy demand. In this regard, development in Russia, which holds great resource potential, is crucial.

For Japan, Russia has an important presence in the field of energy issues. The primary reason is that Japan is dependent on imported energy from the global energy market, and that Russia can significantly influence the stability of that market. The second reason is that there is huge oil and gas potential in areas such as Sakhalin and East Siberia which are geographically close to Japan, and their development will greatly affect the energy market in Asia including Japan.

In addition, it is important to note that we have witnessed various significant developments in Russia which affect global energy market stability. In particular, we are very much interested in such emerging issues as resource nationalism and reinforcement of state involvement in energy sectors, the Russia-Ukraine gas dispute and disruption of gas supply, and geopolitical issues with Europe,
Central Asia and China regarding energy.

With this recognition, this paper will address emerging challenges for global energy security with a special focus on the energy situation and strategy in Russia.