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The Geopolitics of Oil and Gas

Seen from the Pacific Ocean, the world map shows the 21st century's two superpowers: the Unites States and China.
Seen from the Pacific Ocean, the world map shows the 21st century's two superpowers: the Unites States and China. © THINKSTOCK

The world order is changing as factors such as China's rise, the U.S. shale gas revolution and the growing importance of climate change in international relations rewrite the geopolitics of energy and shift the global balance of power. This is just the latest twist in an already long saga in which energy issues intertwine with politics and war.

La nouvelle carte du monde de l’énergie

Energy plays a unique role on the world stage, guaranteeing military strength, economic development, transportation of people and goods, and social well-being. The price of energy, and oil and gas in particular, is set by the global interplay of supply and demand. For many oil and gas producing nations, it has become such a vital part of their economy that it wields a decisive influence on politics. And in recent decades, people worldwide have woken up to the fact that energy also impacts another key issue: climate change.

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40 ans de géopolitique du pétrole et du gaz

The oil and gas markets are intrinsically linked to political and military developments worldwide, with trends influenced by such events as the wars in the Middle East, the Asian and subprime crises and political upheaval in oil and gas producing regions. The major milestones from 1973 to today are described below.

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La « révolution » américaine des hydrocarbures de schiste

The shale oilRefers to liquid hydrocarbons extracted from oil shale (see definition) by heating, pyrolysis or hydrogenation. and gas revolution that began in 2007 in the United States has profoundly altered the world energy landscape and could have a lasting impact on global geopolitics.

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