March 1, 2013

ICDS Director Matthew Bryza Spoke at ESD

Europe has realized the necessity to diversify its energy supply “beyond Gazprom’s monopoly” emphasized Ambassador Matthew Bryza, Director of the International Centre for Defence Studies, during a discussion with students of the Estonian School of Diplomacy on 21 February 2013. In his lecture on the topic of European energy security, Mr Bryza addressed the pipeline chessboard, on which Russia is still striving to checkmate the EU’s initiatives (Nabucco and Southern Corridor) by proceeding with its own projects such as Nord Stream and South Stream. However, the cost inefficiency of these projects means that they are not viable from a commercial point of view, revealing the geopolitical motives behind these pipelines. The race for energy supply dominance at the international market is altering the nature of Russia’s Gazprom monopolistic leverages, the development of the EU single energy market and its anti- monopolistic agenda under the EU Third Energy Package, Bryza concluded.

Europe has realized the necessity to diversify its energy supply “beyond Gazprom’s monopoly” emphasized Ambassador Matthew Bryza, Director of the International Centre for Defence Studies, during a discussion with students of the Estonian School of Diplomacy on 21 February 2013. In his lecture on the topic of European energy security, Mr Bryza addressed the pipeline chessboard, on which Russia is still striving to checkmate the EU’s initiatives (Nabucco and Southern Corridor) by proceeding with its own projects such as Nord Stream and South Stream. However, the cost inefficiency of these projects means that they are not viable from a commercial point of view, revealing the geopolitical motives behind these pipelines. The race for energy supply dominance at the international market is altering the nature of Russia’s Gazprom monopolistic leverages, the development of the EU single energy market and its anti- monopolistic agenda under the EU Third Energy Package, Bryza concluded.

01.03.2013
Europe has realized the necessity to diversify its energy supply “beyond Gazprom’s monopoly” emphasized Ambassador Matthew Bryza, Director of the International Centre for Defence Studies, during a discussion with students of the Estonian School of Diplomacy on 21 February 2013. In his lecture on the topic of European energy security, Mr Bryza addressed the pipeline chessboard, on which Russia is still striving to checkmate the EU’s initiatives (Nabucco and Southern Corridor) by proceeding with its own projects such as Nord Stream and South Stream. However, the cost inefficiency of these projects means that they are not viable from a commercial point of view, revealing the geopolitical motives behind these pipelines.  The race for energy supply dominance at the international market is altering the nature of Russia’s Gazprom monopolistic leverages, the development of the EU single energy market and its anti- monopolistic agenda under the EU Third Energy Package, Bryza concluded.
According to the Tenth Progress Report of the EU-Russia Energy Dialogue, today European market imports around 25% of the world’s traded oil volume, 62% of gas pipeline flows, and 21% of global LNG deliveries. Moreover, import dependency is not evenly distributed in Europe; eastern EU member states do not enjoy the same access to diversified sources of natural gas as do western EU countries.  Bryza largely agreed that the states in the Baltic region are isolated as “energy islands,” with Russia as the sole supplier of their natural gas and electricity imports. Therefore, the concept of common European security has substantially expanded in scope to include the question of energy supply stability, which was previously considered a national matter. One of the core threats perceived by the European countries today is the geopolitical challenge towards diversification of energy supply. 
Tackling the question of where to obtain the oil and gas Europe needs, Bryza turned to the rising perspectives for the Central Asian countries to grasp their role in pipeline politics and energy diplomacy. “We cannot think about European energy security without Central Asia”, the Centre’s director emphasized. The EU-Russia  relationship has been subordinated by Russia’s tactics of using geopolitical leverage in energy supply questions; accordingly, the Caspian region in particular holds increasing interest. The perspectives of dealing with gas-rich countries such as Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, and Azerbaijan have accelerated EU initiatives in constructing Southern Corridor supplying gas directly from Central Asia and simultaneously following up on the Trans-Anatolian gas pipeline (TANAP) project between Azerbaijan and Turkey, connecting to a modified Nabucco West pipeline that will bring Caspian gas directly to Austria for onward distribution. Bryza stressed the importance of these initiatives connecting the Azeri Shah Deniz gas field with Europe, making Azerbaijan one of the main puzzles in diversification of the European energy market. Therefore, the above-mentioned pipeline projects can help Azerbaijan and other Central Asian states to make independent decisions about their oil and gas exports.
While Russia is perceived a “divide and rule” player in pipeline politics, step by step Europe is developing new gas and oil interconnection projects. It is only a matter of time, Bryza concluded, before Europe successfully develops an efficient and reliable energy supply chain and a unified energy market in which market forces rather than monopolists determine prices.
This event briefing was prepared by ICDS intern Anna Bulakh.

Filed under: Events

No comment yet, add your voice below!


Add a Comment