This book is the outcome of the Conference held at the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies (ISEAS) in Singapore in September 2006 to discuss energy and energy-related issues in the Bay of Bengal region. The region can be described as comprising the countries around and in the proximity of the Bay of Bengal. With a combined population exceeding 1.5 billion, the energy requirements of this region are enormous and are expected to grow exponentially. While the potential for energy resource availability is high, the investments for their exploration or extraction had so far been marginal. Prospects for renewable and sustainable energy also needs to be fully examined. There are other issues as well, such as transportation security, role and responsibility of the private sector including multinationals. The energy scene in the Bay of Bengal region therefore merits extensive study.
Energy is a principal concern and preoccupation today. In fact, most discourses on international relations these days touch upon energy security. While there is competition among many nations to acquire assets of energy, there is also interest to initiate dialogues with energy as the main focus. Pipeline diplomacy has assumed increasing importance. Energy, especially the hydrocarbons, appears to be leading to a sense of interdependence in the world.
Besides discussing the overall energy position in the region and its potential, the book features perspectives on a few countries of the region with regard to energy availability, energy security or energy trading capacity.
While energy-related issues are marked by their universal relevance and importance, it is instructive to see how they apply in the regional or subregional context, including in the Bay of Bengal region. The book analyses some of these issues, such as renewable energy, “corporate social responsibility”, or maritime security of energy transportation, both in their basic concept as well as the contextual importance to the region.
I am thankful to all the contributors who spared their time and shared thoughts and suggestions on a relatively unexplored topic. It is hoped that the information and analyses they provided on the subject would be a useful basis for the study and practical application on the issue of energy in the Bay of Bengal region.