Natural Gas & Pipeline Geopolitics
In this seminar, we explore how natural gas connects the world in material and geopolitical ways as brought to the fore by the war in Ukraine. The country is home to one of the largest gas transmission systems in the world and receives substantial gas transit fees as vast volumes of Russian gas transit to Europe. The country also hosts extensive gas storage facilities as most of the gas storage in Soviet times was built on Ukrainian territory and ranks second in Europe for gas reserves. Given Ukraine’s strategic role in linking transregional energy networks, recent calls to sanction Russian gas exports have sent UK and EU gas prices soaring. While governments across Europe try to secure future supplies of gas from new markets, the rising gas prices have led to fears of rising energy costs and the potential need to return to coal.
We ask: what are the politics and ethics of pipelines? In what ways can gas become political actors, instrumentalised by Ukraine, Russia and other countries? And what are the broader lessons to be learnt from these longstanding disputes if we are to achieve our global climate ambitions?
This event is part of the Ukraine: Energy in the Spotlight Series.
Image courtesy of UMA. Copyright: Mariupol Museum of Local Lore.