Energy Warfare

January 13, 2023 • Volume 33, Issue 2
Has the Ukraine conflict permanently altered global oil and gas markets?
By Jonathan Broder


Russia's attempt to destroy Ukraine's power grid; its cutoff of natural gas to Kyiv's European allies; the West's retaliatory embargoes of Moscow's energy exports — all are the tactics of an energy war playing out alongside the grinding ground conflict. Russia's oil, gas and coal and Europe's markets are the principal munitions of this war, echoing other episodes over the past century when producers and consumers weaponized their positions along the energy supply chain. But today's energy war comes at a particularly perilous moment for climate-conscious countries that are trying to transition to renewable sources, yet remain heavily dependent on fossil fuels. Many analysts say the war is causing the global energy order — with its long-established geopolitical norms, well-worn supply chains and dependable markets — to unravel. The result: a worldwide energy crisis marked by oil and gas shortages, extreme price volatility, and a reshuffling of energy flows as much of the world scrambles to adapt. But with no end to the war in sight, how will countries adjust?

Photo of people walking through a Kyiv, Ukraine, blackout on December 26, 2022. (Getty Images/LightRocket/SOPA Images/Sergei Chuzavkov)
People walk down a dark street in Kyiv, Ukraine, during a blackout caused by Russian attacks on the country's energy infrastructure. Russia's invasion has unraveled the traditional global energy order. (Getty Images/LightRocket/SOPA Images/Sergei Chuzavkov)
ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Jan. 13, 2023  Energy Warfare
Nov. 18, 2022  Geopolitics of Green Energy
Nov. 12, 2021  Clean Energy Transition
Jul. 19, 2018  Energy Policy
Aug. 02, 2017  Energy Policy
Nov. 11, 2016  Protecting the Power Grid
Apr. 29, 2016  Solar Energy Controversies
Jun. 05, 2015  Energy
Dec. 16, 2011  Fracking Controversy
May 20, 2011  Energy Policy
Apr. 01, 2011  Wind Power
Jul. 24, 2009  Energy and Climate
May 19, 2006  Energy Efficiency
Feb. 01, 2002  Energy Security
May 25, 2001  Energy Policy
Mar. 03, 2000  Energy and the Environment
Mar. 05, 1999  The Politics of Energy
Oct. 12, 1990  Energy Policy: Options for the 1990s
Jan. 30, 1981  Energy Policy: The New Administration
May 25, 1979  Public Confidence and Energy
Apr. 05, 1974  Continental Energy Sharing
Dec. 29, 1965  Electric Power Supply and Regulation
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Arms Control and Disarmament
Bilateral and Regional Trade
Cold War
Congress Actions
Conservatism and Liberalism
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Defense Technology and Force Planning
Economic Development
Energy Policy
Export Sanctions and Restrictions
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General International Relations
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Student Movements
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U.S. at War: Cold War
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War and Conflict