Security dimension of the maritime energy management: A naval perspective

01/25/2017 - 12:15-01/25/2017 - 13:30


Burak Sakir Seker
(Turkish Navy, Turkish Armed Forces (General Staff))

In a strategic environment that is increasingly shaped by the forces of glo­balization, the navies need to be prepared for a wide range of contingencies. Many of these contingencies will arise from challenges that have little in common with traditional notions of security: cyber attacks can cause massive damage without a single shot being fired; terrorist attacks can have a psychological impact that far outweighs their immediate physical effect; the proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction can lead to unpredict­able power shifts; and other threats to secured energy management.

Energy is essential for virtually all aspects of modern life – a fact that makes it a truly strategic com­modity with numerous implications for international security. Indeed, the political, economic and security challenges surrounding energy are both numerous and profound: Europe’s increas­ing dependency on oil and gas imports; the growing energy needs of rising powers such as China and India; political instability in many energy-producing and transit states; territorial disputes involving the quest for energy and other resources; terrorist attacks against refin­eries, pipelines and power plants; piracy along critical maritime choke points; and cyber attacks against smart power grids and control systems. Finally, there is also the energy chal­lenge of military operations: the logistical and financial burden is constantly increasing, thus making the introduction of energy efficiency measures a strategic imperative.

This paper discusses existing international frameworks to protect the maritime transport of energy and provides specific recommendations to better enable the expeditious and safe flow of energy on the water.