Global Energy

  • Addressing the Invisible Supply Chain

    This post is the third in a series of three that focuses on 1) defining, 2) mapping, and 3) addressing the invisible supply chain. You can read the first and second posts here. 

    Criminals have the advantage of being agile. They are unencumbered by the constraints that impede the governments and institutions arrayed against them. A criminal network operating an invisible supply chain can, when challenged, often disassemble that supply chain and reassemble a new one overnight. Accustomed to finding the path of least resistance around the law, successful criminals tend to maintain a nimble footing, ready to make rapid adjustments in pursuit of continued profits.


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  • Black Sea Natural Gas Games: A Fork in the Road for the BRUA Pipeline Project

    Hopes were riding high on the discovery of Romania’s Black Sea natural gas deposits in 2012, which were expected to provide a cheap and local source of the fuel for Central and South Eastern Europe (CSEE). ExxonMobil and OMV Petrom would carry out the offshore production, and the Bulgaria-Romania-Hungary-Austria (BRUA) pipeline project, formally conceived in 2016, would deliver 4.4 billion cubic meters per year to the preeminent regional hub located in Baumgarten, Austria. The European Commission prioritized BRUA and made European Union (EU) funding available for it, given its contribution to regional energy security, market integration, and competition. Furthermore, the project had also been meant to incentivize Romania and Bulgaria to speed up market liberalization efforts.


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  • Mapping the Invisible Supply Chain

    This post is the second in a series of three that will focus on 1) defining, 2) mapping, and 3) addressing the invisible supply chain. You can read the first post here.

    In the autumn of 2017, Italian authorities busted a lucrative smuggling ring that was bringing hundreds of millions of liters of stolen Libyan fuel into the European Union. The criminal operation involved coordination between a host of players: Libyan militias, a Libyan crime boss, Maltese criminals, corrupt bureaucrats, Italian mafia groups, Italian fuel traders, and “white pump” (off-brand) retail suppliers willing to pay

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  • Defining The Invisible Supply Chain

    This post is the first in a series of three that will focus on 1) defining, 2) mapping, and 3) addressing the invisible supply chain.

    In 2014, the Wall Street Journal published a story detailing how the Saltpond Oil Field off the coast of Ghana was exporting as much as five times the crude oil it could possibly produce. The article exposed the contours of an extensive transnational criminal operation. As the story unfolded, it was revealed that stolen Nigerian crude would be shipped to Saltpond, where it would either be mixed with the facility’s Ghanaian oil or simply transferred into different tankers before being shipped to refineries elsewhere in Africa and Europe for processing and then distribution through legitimate channels.


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  • A European View: Europe, Nord Stream 2, and Diversification

    Preface

    During his 2019 State of the Union speech, President Donald Trump claimed credit for getting European NATO members to pay an additional $100 billion in military outlays to the alliance by the end of 2020. Similarly, instead of raising the specter of further sanctions on Russia that would impact European allies, the United States should claim credit for ameliorating European energy security by contending that these improvements—including additional liquefied natural gas (LNG) capacity, storage, and reverse flow capability—are ultimately a result of US efforts following the Ukraine gas crises of 2005–2006 and 2008–2009.


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  • Atlantic Council Luncheon with OPEC Secretary General H.E. Mohammad Barkindo

    On Thursday, March 7, the Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Center hosted a luncheon with H.E. Mohammad Barkindo, secretary general of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).

    In his remarks, Secretary General Barkindo emphasized the symbiotic relationship between the United States and OPEC; as oil producers, both benefit from stability in the market. He discussed how the US and OPEC countries suffered due the global downturn in the energy market from 2014–2016 until OPEC and non-OPEC partners were able to stabilize the market through voluntary production adjustments.


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  • Gas and Conflict in the Eastern Mediterranean

    In January, Egypt, Israel, Cyprus, Greece, Italy, Jordan, and the Palestinian Authority established the East Mediterranean Gas Forum (EMGF) in an effort to coordinate energy policies and establish a regional gas market. The group will attempt to develop and organize the region’s rising gas market, allowing its members to tap their vast natural gas resources, and potentially become an exporting hub for Europe. Although the formation of the EMGF may be a step in the right direction, Turkey’s exclusion remains a major stumbling block to the future of energy cooperation in the region. Incorporating Turkey into the Forum will improve EMGF’s prospects of success, although Turkey is unlikely to be invited to join as long as Cyprus remains in the Forum—or without a resolution between the two countries.


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  • Delivering Sustainability Across Latin America: Can Corporations Fill the Gap?

    On February 12, 2019, the Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Center and Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center hosted Yale Hillhouse Professor of Environmental Law and Policy Daniel C. Estyfor a conversation about corporate sustainability in Latin America. Esty’s recently published book, The Labyrinth of Sustainability: Green Business Lessons from Latin American Corporate Leaders,set the context for the discussion, with a look at a collection of case studies that demonstrated Latin America’s unique stage for sustainable corporate investments. Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center Deputy Director Paula Garcia Tufromoderated, with Global Energy Center Deputy Director for Climate and Advanced Energy David Livingstonjoining the conversation.


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  • Energy Geopolitics and the Four Transitions

    At the Atlantic Council’s recent Global Energy Forum in Abu Dhabi, the global energy transformation and diversification in energy and power markets were recurring themes. A new report from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), A New World: The Geopolitics of the Energy Transformation, helped to frame the discussion of these themes. The report argues that the emergence of economically competitive renewable energy sources is fundamentally changing the nature of energy geopolitics by driving changes in import and export dependency on oil and gas, as well as creating new leaders and international alliances in clean energy technologies, reducing the role and leverage of Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) countries, and furthering the decentralization and democratization of the

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  • The Time is Right for Energy Transformation in Puerto Rico

    Late last year, a group of us from the Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Center had the opportunity to travel to San Juan, Puerto Rico for a series of meetings on hurricane recovery and the future of the island’s electric grid.  It was an interesting time for a visit. While the remnants of the storm were visible if you looked hard, the clear message from our hosts was that Puerto Rico is open for business—an amazing fact given what the island confronted just over a year earlier.


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