European Gas Pipeline Network and Energy Security

February 10, 2010 - 11:00 - 12:30
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Event audience: 
Balázs Vedres
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Join us for a discussion of a new paper which uses a network approach to evaluate the energy security of scenarios of future European gas pipeline configurations. Energy security of natural gas supplies in Europe is becoming a key concern. As demand increases, infrastructure development focuses on extending the capacity of the pipeline system. While conventional approaches focus mainly on source dependence, this paper argues for a network perspective to also consider risks associated with transit countries, by borrowing methods from ecological food web analysis. We develop methods to estimate exposure and dominance of each country, by using network datasets of the present pipeline system, and future scenarios of 2015 and 2020. We found that future scenarios will not increase the robustness of the system. Pipeline development to 2020 will shift the relative weight of energy security concerns away from source to transit countries. The dominance of politically unstable countries will increase. The exposure will be slightly redistributed by improving the security of already secure countries, and increasing the exposure of those countries that are already in a vulnerable position.