Countries lacking abundant energy resources are often the most effective in ensuring reliable supplies, usually through a mix of pragmatism and openness to foreign investment. But this becomes ever more difficult at a time of rising political tension. The latest Russian poisoning scandal has highlighted not so much the UK or Europe’s dependence on Russia for energy, but the extent to which energy supply in much of Europe is highly diversified, with multiple sources, delivery methods and intermediaries making it difficult for countries or leaders to intervene for political ends either on the supply or the demand side. In the various conflicts swirling around Russia, foreign political leaders keen to take a stand are for the most part targeting individuals rather than vital commercial relationships in the oil and gas sphere. There is still an awareness that interfering in complex business relationships may do more harm than good. But there is a risk of mis-steps and unintended consequences for all concerned. The UK’s ability to source energy from its own North Sea fields is a strength. But prolonging this production in a period of decline has only been possible through maximum openness to foreign investors, including brushing aside the type of concerns… continue reading
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Source: CTRM Center