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The New Energy Silk Road

The Growing Asia-Middle East Energy Nexus

By Philip Andrews-Speed, Sumit Ganguly, Manjeet S. Pardesi, Mikkal E. Herberg, Hormoz Naficy, and Jean-Francois Seznec

Publication Year: 2009

This report explores the historic shift in energy trade and relations between Asia and the Middle East.

Published by: National Bureau of Asian Research


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p. 2-2

Table of Contents

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pp. 3-4

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The New Energy Silk Road: The Growing Asia-Middle East Nexus

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pp. 1-12

Since the mid-1990s Asian energy demand has increased at truly stunning rates as consumption of the full range of fossil fuels—oil, natural gas, and coal—has rapidly grown. Though China has been at the center of this demand surge, growth has also been strong in developing Southeast Asia, India, and the rest of South Asia. At the same time, the Middle East and the Persian Gulf have remained at the center of the global oil supply system because the region is home to some of the largest oil producers and exporters in the world and holds roughly two-thirds of the world’s proven oil reserves. The Gulf has also become a much larger supplier of liquefied natural gas (LNG) over the past decade, as Qatar’s rapid LNG growth has added to LNG...

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China's Energy Role in the Middle East and Prospects for the Future

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pp. 13-28

China’s international energy strategy is based on the premise that the country is set to be a substantial net importer of oil and gas for the foreseeable future. Some 50% of the country’s oil consumption, or about 4 million barrels per day (mmbpd), is met by imports. Though gas imports are currently limited to a single liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal, the scale is set to grow as new LNG terminals are commissioned and when a gas pipeline from Turkmenistan is completed.
Depending on how rapidly demand picks up as China emerges from the current economic recession, net imports of oil could double to 8 mmbpd between 2015 and 2020, which compares with total oil imports to the United States today of about 13 mmbpd and to Japan of about 5 mmbpd. Imports of gas to China could rise from 4 billion cubic meters per year (bcm/yr) today to as much as 100 bcm/yr by 2020. This compares to Japan’s current level of LNG imports, which...

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Prospects for India's Energy and Geopolitical Roles in the Middle East

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pp. 29-40

The Indian economy has emerged as one of the fastest-growing economies in the world in recent years. The end of the Cold War in 1991 coincided with a serious balance-of-payments crisis in India. In the midst of this crisis, the government of Prime Minister Narasimha Rao, together with then minister of finance Manmohan Singh, launched a series of structural reforms that introduced a new industrial policy and also led to the opening up of India’s financial sector. The net effect of these changes was the jettisoning of India’s model of socialist and autarkic economic development. After 1991, India began to embrace the open market and opened its economy to the wider world. In the period 1988–2006, the Indian economy has registered an average growth rate of 6.3% (including growth in excess of 8% per annum over the past six years).1...

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Energy and Trade Relations between China and Saudi Arabia: A Continuing Evolution

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pp. 41-52

Relations between Saudi Arabia and China have been increasing dramatically over the past ten years. The king of Saudi Arabia travelled to China in January 2006, the first Saudi monarch to do so and his first state visit as king. The Chinese president reciprocated by visiting Saudi Arabia in April 2006 and again earlier this year. There are important Saudi investments in refining in China, and Sinopec was chosen over U.S. firms as one of the oil companies charged with finding dry gas in Saudi Arabia. Trade with China is increasing very rapidly, up 77% in 2008 alone.1 Between 2002 and 2004, Saudi imports from China rose by 160%. In 2007, China was the second largest exporter to Saudi Arabia and the fifth-largest buyer of Saudi exports. China is the country’s...

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Iran's Views on the Future of Energy Relations with China and Asia

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pp. 53-60

Prior to the current financial crisis there was a great deal of focus, and barely concealed concern, with what seemed like the insatiable energy demands of China, India, and to a lesser extent the smaller but also fast-emerging economies of the Far East as well as what this demand meant to the West, particularly to the United States. Following from this, and concomitantly, there was the focus and concern that some of the oil producers of the Middle East and elsewhere were responding all too positively to this growing demand in Asia. While some of the traditional oil provinces, such as Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) did not offer a level playing field or remained, on the whole, out of bounds to the national oil companies...

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The New Energy Silk Road: Implications for the United States

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pp. 61-66

The conference papers and discussion broadly confirmed the view that the Asian energy importers, particularly China, will play an increasingly important role in the energy development of the Middle East and Persian Gulf that is also likely to drive an expanding political, economic, and diplomatic role for these states. This ultimately is bound to have major strategic and energy security implications for the United States, the dominant outside power in the region for the past 50 years. The United States is the reigning global energy superpower, the leader in establishing the global institutions and arrangements governing energy today, and the guarantor of the sea lanes of communication (SLOC) in the Gulf region. The United States is also...

2009 Energy Security Conference Agenda

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pp. 67-69

Back Cover

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p. 76-76

E-ISBN-13: 9781939131003

Page Count: 69
Publication Year: 2009