Drawing of New Fault lines on Gulf Energy Map

Drawing of New Fault lines on Gulf Energy Map

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Girijesh Pant

The contour of the Gulf Energy Map cartographed well, so far, by Gulf exporters lead by Saudi Arabia, seems to be changing with the surfacing of new strategic lines. The recent developments in OPEC proceedings, exposing divergence of interest between Saudi Arabia and the UAE and the assertion by the latter suggest that the strength of member in decision making is determined not as much by its oil power as by its construct of post oil society. Surely UAE is much smaller a player than Saudi Arabia but it enjoys higher degree of resilience. Its diversified economy allows it to take calculated risk in charting course not necessarily in line with the big brother. Its judgement and initiatives to redefine the terms of engagement of its citizens with the state, might not be as glamorous but more ensuring of the move to post rentier society. The announcement by ANDOC to expand its capacity to promote its national interest is a nuance message of its strategic weight in shaping of hydrocarbon regime, its energy vision to increase the contribution of clean energy sources in the total capacity mix to 50% by 2050 places it in the of company global transformers. The point is that the geoeconomics of transition to post rentier society is unleashing more divergence than convergence of interest among the oil exporters becoming visible in drawing of new fault lines.

Prof. Girijesh Pant is a National Fellow at the Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR). Formerly, he was Dean of the School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi