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Energy Security Seminar on 'Risk and Resilience: Securing Energy in Insecure Spaces'

Date: 29–30 October 2012
Venue: Orchard Hotel Singapore
Organised by: RSIS Centre for NTS Studies

The RSIS Centre for NTS Studies organised a Seminar on ‘Risk and Resilience: Securing Energy in Insecure Spaces’. This seminar was organised for government representatives from defence and security agencies in the region.

The latter half of the twentieth century brought a global post-war boom and exponential increase in demand for energy supplies to fuel these booms. As newly-emerging economies joined the race for energy, this put strains on global energy sources, especially oil and gas. As supplies of oil and gas from traditional sources such as the Middle East peaked and prices rose, one trend has been to seek conventional oil and gas in insecure locations – places where oil had not been extracted previously because of the latent risks. The second new area is to source oil and gas in unconventional forms – especially shale and oil sands. New technologies and high oil prices have made extraction of previously uneconomic sources of oil and gas in such geological fields possible. For net oil and gas importers, while sourcing energy in insecure or new areas might heighten external risk in one respect, diversification of supply increases its resilience. These new areas of energy supply are thus crucial in balancing energy security of a country and there needs to be a closer look at these new sources and assess the trade-off between risks and resilience. The optimum balance may often be a moving target, and understanding these new areas to remain ahead of developments is vital for policymakers and industry leaders to make the right decisions.

This one-and-a-half-day closed-door seminar brought together experts to discuss these themes on energy security. It aimed increase awareness of the new spaces in which energy security is being pursued, as well as to kick-start discussions on the implications of these new developments. The following summarises the main themes that emerged from the discussions:

  • Existing work on energy security tends to over-emphasise the prospect of geo-political competition and conflict over resources while under-emphasising the promise of cooperation. A new regional architecture for energy cooperation can help minimise risks and help meet growing demand both in Southeast Asia and the wider Asia-Pacific region, thus enhancing energy security.
     
  • The South China Sea has been identified as a potential flashpoint for conflict in the region. Achieving progress on resolving tensions in the area requires countries to strengthen efforts to promote joint development of hydrocarbon resources and to adopt a binding code of conduct for all parties to the territorial dispute.
     
  • Shale gas and biofuels are thought to be promising alternatives that could reduce dependence on traditional fossil fuels. However, the exploration of such alternative energy sources should take into account the impact on society and the environment. The risks posed by potentially disruptive weather events and other phenomena related to climate change must also be factored into energy planning.

Click here to view the programme.
Click here to read an Issues Brief detailing the key themes discussed at the seminar.
 

Powerpoint slides of presentations delivered at the seminar can be found below:

Session 1: Energy, Growth and Society

Aspects of China's Domestic Energy Policy
Prof. Zha Daojiong
Professor of International Political Economy
School of International Studies
Peking University

Managing the Resource Nexus in the New Global Architecture
Dr Philip Andrews-Speed
Principal Fellow, East Asia Programme
Energy Studies Institute (ESI)
National University of Singapore

New Energy Architecture for Energy Security
Prof. Tatsuo Masuda
Professor
Nagoya University of Business and Commerce Graduate School
Japan

Session 2: Energy in Insecure Locations

China and the South China Sea: Challenge of Energy Security
Dr Hooman Peimani
Principal Fellow and Head
Energy Security Division
Energy Studies Institute (ESI)
National University of Singapore (NUS)

Risks of Securing Energy in Insecure Areas: Examples from Southeast Asia
Mr Cillian Nolan
Senior South East Asia Specialist
International Crisis Group (ICG)
Jakarta, Indonesia

Quantitative Assessment of Energy Security in East Asia
Dr Xunpeng Shi
Energy Economist
Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA)
Jakarta, Indonesia
 

Session 3: New Technologies - Bane or Blessing?

Modelling Climate Risk as Constraint to Renewable Energy Production
Prof. Raymond Tan
University Fellow and Full Professor of Chemical, and
Director, Centre for Engineering and Sustainable Development Research (CESDR)
De La Salle University, Philippines

The Quest for Shale Gas and Biofuel in Southeast Asia: Lessons from North America and Europe
Dr Eulalia Han
Fellow
Energy Security Division
Energy Studies Institute (ESI)
National University of Singapore (NUS)
and
Mr Nur Azha Putra
Research Associate
Energy Security Division
Energy Studies Institute (ESI)
National University of Singapore (NUS)

Session 4: Prospects for Asian Cooperation

Energy Market Integration and Its Implications for Energy Security in ASEAN
Dr Youngho Chang
Assistant Professor
Division of Economics and
Adjunct Senior Fellow, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS)
Nanyang Technological University (NTU)
Singapore

Options for Energy Risk Adaptation in East Asia
Prof. Zha Daojiong
Professor of International Political Economy
School of International Studies
Peking University

Regional Cooperation on Energy Security in Asia: Positive Impact?
Dr Hooman Peimani
Principal Fellow and Head
Energy Security Division
Energy Studies Institute (ESI)
National University of Singapore (NUS)


Posted on: 29/10/2012 8:30:00 AM  |  Topic: Energy Security


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