Reassessing energy security and the Trans-ASEAN natural gas pipeline network in Southeast Asia

Sovacool, Benjamin K (2009) Reassessing energy security and the Trans-ASEAN natural gas pipeline network in Southeast Asia. Pacific Affairs, 82 (3). pp. 467-486. ISSN 0030-851X

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Regulators within the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) have heavily promoted investment in natural gas infrastructure to meet burgeoning demand for energy. By 2030, some analysts expect Southeast Asia to become "the Persian Gulf of Gas" and responsible for one-quarter of the world's gas production and use. Perhaps no single project is more emblematic of the region's view of energy security and policy than the Trans-ASEAN natural gas pipeline (TAGP) system, a proposed network of natural gas pipelines to connect the gas reserves in the Gulf of Thailand, Indonesia, Myanmar and the Philippines to the rest of the region. Advocates of the TAGP expect it to promote economic development, earn foreign exchange, mitigate the risks of climate change, and enhance regional energy security. Drawing from field research and research interviews, however, this article takes a critical look at the region's drive towards the TAGP and ASEAN's approach to energy security as a whole. The article argues that plans for the TAGP rest on too simple a notion of energy security: secure access to fuel. This conception of energy security ignores important additional dimensions related to availability, affordability, efficiency and environmental and social stewardship. In contrast, the paper concludes that the TAGP is insufficient, expensive, inefficient, and environmentally and socially destructive.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: University of Sussex Business School > SPRU - Science Policy Research Unit
Depositing User: Benjamin Sovacool
Date Deposited: 02 Dec 2015 19:13
Last Modified: 02 Jun 2016 10:27
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