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A new era for energy: The nightmare Gulf scenario and its implications for human and environmental security

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The world is increasingly becoming an uncertain and unpredictable place for both individuals and governments. High oil prices have enriched many nations and impoverished others while the environment suffers in the process. Then, out of nowhere, came the global financial crisis to add more pressure and uncertainty to a world bruised by wars, divisions, violence, poverty and inequality. But the uncertainty of the world we live in continues. The recent emergence of shale gas (natural gas extracted from shale rock formations) as, potentially, a major competitor to conventional natural gas and even oil has created a great deal of excitement and concern in the energy world and among environmentalists. It has also created more uncertainty. This development in the energy landscape could have serious implications for many of the world’s producers of oil and gas (especially those in the Arab Gulf region) and their millions of expatriates (many of them from poor third world countries). This chapter will provide a historical and current account of the “shale phenomenon” and its implications for a region whose prosperity and stability was secured by generous wealth distribution programmes made possible by massive financial resources generated from the sale of conventional oil and gas.

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Sultan, N. (2017). A new era for energy: The nightmare Gulf scenario and its implications for human and environmental security. In Environmental Change and Human Security in Africa and the Middle East (pp. 179–195). Springer International Publishing.

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