THE GROWING ROLE OF NATURAL GAS IN THE EURASIAN ENERGY GAMES

Rustam MAKHMUDOV


Rustam Makhmudov, Independent researcher (Tashkent, Uzbekistan)


Introduction

An analysis of the current economic and geopolitical processes on the Eurasian continent shows the growing importance of natural gas in the competitive struggle unfolding among the leading industrial countries and organizations for priority access to primary energy sources.

There are many reasons for this keen interest in natural gas. First, the industrys experts are forecasting a probable change in the traditional structures of world energy consumption in the next few decades due to the anticipated drop in oil production at currently exploited fields, which will have a detrimental effect on the overall world production of this primary energy resource.

Despite directly opposite forecasts that rely on positive estimates of land-based, deep sea, and offshore oil reserves, pessimistic moods nevertheless prevail.

Moreover, the forecasts of an increase in global energy consumption, the growth rates of which can no longer be fully met by oil as in the past, are another reason for the growing interest in natural gas.

Yet one more important reason for this is environmental protection, particularly where the Western political-economic expanse is concerned. Keeping in mind that environmental levers are becoming an important tool in the policy of Western countries, adherence to environmental requirements and preservation of the biosphere could artificially whip up natural gas consumption rates throughout the world. Western environmental organizations are becoming increasingly adamant about reviewing the energy consumption structure of


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