The most important factor in the fate of societies and nations is command of energy. Energy is defined as the ability or capacity to do work. Energy policy in the European Union represents one of the core policies since the beginning of the European Integration. The treaty of Paris to establish a European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) and the European Atomic Energy Community (EURATOM or EAEC) were the first attempts to an energy cooperation within the European Community. As the size of the European Union grows (reached twenty eight member states as of March 2013), it needed more energy sources as energy plays an important role for economic development. Now the European ...view middle of the document...
By January 2009 there were three pipelines between North Africa and Europe with a maximal yearly capacity of about 50 billion cubic meter in action. All three lines cross the Mediterranean Sea: the Transmed-Pipeline starts at Algeria crossing Tunis to Italy, The MEG (Maghreb-Europe-Pipeline) from Algeria crossing Morocco to Spain and the Green-Stream-Pipeline from Libya to Sicily. Another two pipelines were planned to increase the capacity of more 20 billion cubic meter per year. The Galsi-Pipeline would bring Algerian gas across Sardinia to Italy and the Medgaz-Pipeline transferring Algerian gas to Spain. Despite all pipelines enlargements, large part of Europe’s natural gas from Africa comes per ship in form of LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas). Egypt and Libya are developing themselves as important actors though they didn’t reach the amount reserved by Algeria. Libya resources weren’t developed cause of international sanctions. Only investments in new LNG facilities and building new LNG terminals would raise Libya’s and Egypt’s share of natural gas to Europe.
The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) members (Kuwait, UAE, Saudi Arabia and Qatar) play an important role as well in supplying Hydrocarbons like petroleum and natural gas. GCC states hold 45% of the world oil reserves. And according to the last statistical review of BP (one of the world’s leading international oil and gas companies) in June 2015, the whole Middle East oil reserves estimated to be 77.8% of the whole world reserves. The GCC developed sub-objectives that work together to provide energy security to the members of the GCC and the wider international environment. They try to maintain the freedom of navigation in the Arabian Gulf including the Strait of Hormuz (strait between the Gulf of Oman and the Persian Gulf) which ensure steady supply of hydrocarbons to the international marketplace. 20% of the world’s oil traverse the Gulf in order to reach international markets and the GCC is preventing repetition of closures and attacks against maritime traffic through the strait as occurred during the Iraq-Iran war. Since the strait is a vital passage of international energy security, US, China, Russia and all EU members support that objective. The EU values its relations with the GCC and Iran as they are an important provider of energy though most of the Gulf oil and gas not exported to the EU, yet many European energy companies show interest in purchasing LNG from the GCC.
2. The 2008-09 dispute pre the Arab Spring
In the beginning of January 2009 the gas of Ukrainian supply was interrupted and
Gradually supplies were further reduced and on 7th of January almost all transit through the Ukrainian network, estimated about 300-350 Mcm (million cubic meter) per day, was disrupted. The crisis came in a critical time of a high peak gas demand in western and central Europe in the coldest weather weakening industrial and commercial energy and power demand. Western European countries...