Review-The New Geopolitics of Natural Gas: a solid academic study of a field to often ignored in the geopolitics of energy

The New Geopolitics of Natural Gas
Agnia Grigas
Harvard University Press, 2017

When it comes to the geopolitics of energy, almost all the focus is placed on oil. Yet in this work, Grigas delves into the politics surrounding the production, import, export, purchase, and transit of natural gas. The book discusses the various changes caused by the rise in production of shale gas, the rise in the use of LNG (liquid natural gas) and the fall in the price of oil and gas.

The book has some serious research behind it, with over 100 pages of citations and the claims of the book are backed up by statistical data and evidence. As a result, it is a heavy read, often discussing major conflicts and agreements without explaining them, and instead relying on the reader to understand the topics. As a result and not recommended for a total beginner, however, if one wishes to know more about the politics surrounding natural gas then it is a solid place to start. The discussions of energy politics in the EU is particularly interesting. It is especially worth noting one of the authors major points throughout the book, which is that gas is becoming more of a commodity to be traded on a global market instead of the traditional pipelines and monopolies that have existed since the dawn of the industry.

If I had one complaint it would be that the book seemed to focus too heavily on Europe and Russia, and not as much on Asia, particularly India, yet the book still represents a major and desperately needed academic study of the changing politics of natural gas.