Energy resources and
security in Asia-Pacific
Mark J. Valencia
In Northeast Asia energy and security are locked in an unusually tight and fateful embrace because of the distinctive energy vulnerabilities of many nations within the region. Asia's energy demand, centring on oil, will not only rise but will also progressively broaden to include a wide range of even more rapidly growing nearby economies.
Recent Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum (APEC) forecasts (Table 12.1) suggest that within 15 years there will be four or five major competitors for existing Asian oil supplies in regional markets traditionally dominated by Japan. By 2010, if current forecasts prevail, Japan's share of Asian oil imports will have fallen 50 per cent to 37 per cent of the region's total. China (including Taiwan and Hong Kong) will account for 28 per cent, with mainland China's share rising sharply. South Korea and the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN), both with continually rising demand, will have to fight for the rest in potentially tight regional and global markets. Emerging multipolar energy-supply rivalries in Asia could have a particularly severe impact in Northeast Asia, where energy deficits are often intractable and political relations delicate.