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Articles in Energy

Tatarstan: A “Hostage of Freezing Relations between Russia and Turkey”?

By Asya Pereltsvaig | February 4, 2016 | 4 Comments

[Many thanks to Ekaterina Lyutikova for most helpful discussions of some of the issues discussed in this post, as well as for the photos, some of which are used as illustrations below. I’m also grateful to Martin W. Lewis for helpful discussions and edits and for modifying the Wikipedia map of Percentage of Ethnic Tatars, used below.]

Tatarstan has not been …

Argentina’s Controversial Energy Policies

By Martin W. Lewis | September 6, 2015 | One Comment

As noted in the previous post, the most economically productive areas of Argentina depend heavily on the extraction of oil and natural gas. Argentina, however, is not a major fossil-fuel producer, and its reserves of conventional oil and natural gas are modest. Although it still exports some crude oil and until recently sold large quantities of natural gas to Chile, …

Oil, Coal, and Economic Development in Colombia

By Martin W. Lewis | August 26, 2015 | 3 Comments

Although Colombia is not usually classified as a major oil-producer, it ranks 19th in the world according to the Wikipedia, turning out more than a million barrels a day in late 2014. Although this figure was well below that of Venezuela (2.5 million barrels a day), it surpassed those of such well-known oil exporters as Oman and Azerbaijan. It is …

Energy Issues in the Ukrainian Crisis

By Martin W. Lewis | March 27, 2014 | 4 Comments

Energy issues figure prominently in many discussions of the conflict in Ukraine. As is often noted, Europe’s reliance on Russian natural gas gives Moscow significant leverage. Ukraine, moreover, is weakened by its own dependence on Russian energy, and its situation is complicated by the Russian natural gas pipelines that transverse its territory. Less often noted are Ukraine’s own significant gas …

Egypt and the World Diesel Price Map

By Martin W. Lewis | April 4, 2013 | 8 Comments

The price of fuel in Egypt, and especially that of diesel, has been featured in many recent news stories, owing to the perilous state of the Egyptian economy. As an April 1 article in Financial Times notes:

Egypt imports up to 70 per cent of its diesel, which it uses to fuel cars, farm equipment and power plants. In addition, it …

The Controversial Global Boom in Dam-Building and Hydroelectric Power

By Martin W. Lewis | July 12, 2012 | 6 Comments

In scanning the global news for potential GeoCurrents posts, I am often struck by the repeated appearance of dam-building controversies.  The construction, or proposed construction, of massive dams has been a major issue of late in countries ranging from China, to Burma, Laos, Gabon, Ethiopia, Brazil, and Canada. The emerging Belo Monte Dam on the Xingu River in northern Brazil …

Mapping Renewable Electricity Generation

By Martin W. Lewis | July 4, 2012 | 4 Comments

The use of renewable energy sources (hydro, solar, wind, geothermal, and biomass) for electricity generation varies profoundly from country to country, ranging from 100 percent in Albania, Iceland, Paraguay, and Tajikistan to less than 1 percent in Belarus, Eritrea, and Jordan. Intriguingly, the map bears no resemblance to that of economic development; the highest levels of “renewability” are found in …

Iceland to Export Electricity to Britain?

By Martin W. Lewis | June 7, 2012 |

Iceland is by far the world richest country in terms of per capita renewable energy. 81 percent of Iceland’s total energy needs are derived from renewable sources, mostly geothermal and hydroelectric, as is 100 percent of its electricity. As a result of its abundant resources, electrical power in Iceland is cheaper than anywhere else in Europe.

Regional Variation in Gasoline and Electricity Prices in the United States

By Martin W. Lewis | June 1, 2012 | 3 Comments

Regional differences in the price of gasoline in the United States are often discussed, with many observers noting that higher prices tend to be found in left-leaning states that have more stringent regulations and higher taxes.  Maps of gasoline price, such as those supplied by GasBuddy.com tend to bear out this generalization, although some exceptions are evident. Democratic-voting Minnesota, for …

Alaska’s Energy Economy and the Japan Connection

By Martin W. Lewis | May 19, 2012 |

Alaskan newspapers recently announced that their state had just been surpassed by North Dakota as the second largest oil producer in the United States (after Texas). The announcement sparked discussions about why Alaska’s production is falling while that of North Dakota is booming. Whatever the reasons, the geographical transformation of the U.S. oil industry over the past few years has been pronounced, occurring too rapidly to be noted by many top reference sources.

Problems Surrounding the Oil-Boom in Northwestern North Dakota

By Martin W. Lewis | May 1, 2012 |

North Dakota is a sparsely settled state that has seen its population languish for decades. Home to 680,845 people in 1930, North Dakota held only 672,591in 2010. Currently, however, the state is experiencing a rebound, most notably in its oil-rich northwestern corner. Workers are flowing into Williston (population 14,716 in 2010), the main town in Bakken Formation region, which has oil reserves estimated at some 18 to 24 billion barrels.

Republic of Congo/Congo Republic — and its Oil Development

By Martin W. Lewis | April 16, 2012 |

Searching the internet for the Republic of Congo can be a frustrating exercise, as returns are dominated by the country’s neighbor, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The DRC is a much larger and more populous country, and its security problems and general misgovernment are considered more newsworthy. To find information on the smaller of the two Congos, a former French rather than Belgian colony, it is best to search for “Congo Republic.”

The Colombian-Venezuelan Energy-Led Diplomatic Thaw

By Martin W. Lewis | March 29, 2012 |

Relations between Colombia and Venezuela have been so tense over the past decade that it sometimes seemed that the two countries were at the verge of war. Such tensions, however, have recently diminished to the point where the neighboring states are now discussing building a pipeline to transport Venezuelan crude oil to Colombian ports, a project enthusiastically backed by China.

Burma’s Electricity Quandaries

By Martin W. Lewis | February 21, 2012 |

In early 2012, the Burmese government again astounded many by suspending an $8 billion, 4,000-megawatt, coal-fired power plant at Dawei in the southern part of the country, due mainly to environmental concerns,

Saskatchewan’s Oil-Driven Population Boom

By Martin W. Lewis | February 15, 2012 | 3 Comments

Canadian news sources have been proudly announcing the fact that the province of Saskatchewan posted a population growth rate of 6.7 percent over the past five years, after having declined by a 1.1 percent rate between 2001 and 2006

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