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Energy Geopolitics and the New Great Game in Central Asia

Ramakrushna Pradhan

Millennial Asia, 2022, vol. 13, issue 2, 265-288

Abstract: Energy has become the symbol of 21st-century geopolitics. Asia in this geopolitical game is considered to be the ground zero. As of 2021, at least a quarter of the world’s liquid hydrocarbons are consumed by China, India, Japan and South Korea. Over the next 20 years, 85% of the growth in energy consumption will come from the Indo-Pacific region. According to the World Energy Outlook, China will account for 40% of the growing consumption until 2025, after which India will emerge as the biggest single source of increasing demand. The increase in demand for gas will overtake that for oil and coal combined. Part of the story here is that the Indo-Pacific region will become increasingly reliant on oil from the Middle East and Central Asia. By 2030, 80% of Chinese oil will be imported while 90% in the case of India. But Japan and South Korea will remain 100% dependent on oil imports. Where from these huge amounts of oil and gas will come? The scramble for oil and gas in Central Asia probably is the right answer to the question asked. To materialize the quest for oil and energy, many countries although lately but turned towards Central Asia for sure. With this premise, the present article attempts to contextualize the geopolitics of energy in Central Asia and tries to investigate the nature and contour of the great game while illustrating the unflinching importance of the region for global energy security in general and the Indian energy security in particular.

Keywords: Energy security; geopolitics; Central Asia; new great game; pipeline diplomacy (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022
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DOI: 10.1177/09763996211003260

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