Adviser's Note - Energy Geopolitics in the Indo-Pacific

Adviser's Note - Energy Geopolitics in the Indo-Pacific

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Shankari Sundararaman

Energy security for the Indo-Pacific will be a credible lever on which all the countries in the region will remain focused. The growing demand for energy in China, India and Southeast Asian countries will have notable implications for the whole region. Lying at the centre of this geopolitical space is the South China Sea, endowed with enormous fuel reserves. As per U.S. Energy Information Administration, the South China Sea has an estimated 190 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, and 11 billion barrels of oil reserves. The perception of huge energy deposits in South China Sea has led to several overlapping claims and instances of geopolitical tensions in the past, among the countries around.

As the Indo-Pacific will continue to witness unprecedented economic growth, development of alternative sources and diversifying energy supplies will be of critical importance to ensure unrestricted fuel supplies and sustainable access to energy resources.

Prof. Shankari Sundararaman is Professor at the Centre for Indo-Pacific Studies, School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi