Energy Markets in the Asia-Pacific Region: Archived Project

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Past research at the East-West Center focused on a range of energy policy issues in the Asia-Pacific, Middle East, and other regions, with special emphasis on oil and natural gas. The geographic focus was on major energy producers and consumers in Asia, as well as the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) economies.

East-West Center energy economist, Kang Wu, discussed China's regional oil and gas demand, supply, and trade, energy balances, and economic development, with projections up till 2030.

Analysis focused primarily on four areas: energy markets, energy security across the region, energy economics in China, and energy security in APEC economies.

Energy Markets

Research on energy markets in Asia and the Pacific covered:

  • The growing dependence of Asian economies on oil and natural gas from other regions, particularly the Middle East
  • Expanding energy markets in China, India, Japan, South Korea, and Indonesia, with implications for the region as a whole and for the world
  • Developments in the energy market and nuclear-power sector after the Fukushima crisis
  • The increasing importance of natural gas as a source of energy in Asia, including natural gas development, consumption, and trade
  • The emergence of unconventional gas as a source of energy in the United States and the rest of the world
  • Financing and governance of energy markets, including market deregulation and privatization

Energy Security

Work in this area focused on economic issues related to energy security in the Asia-Pacific region. Key questions included:

  • How to ensure an adequate and efficient supply of energy?
  • How to address environmental challenges concerning energy security?
  • What is an affordable cost for energy?
  • What are the implications of volatile oil prices for energy security?
  • How is energy linked to economic issues in Asia today?

Policy aspects of the project included:

  • Policy priorities for energy-importing economies to ensure adequate supplies of energy
  • Policy priorities for energy-producing and exporting economies to maintain their markets
  • Policies on energy efficiency and conservation
  • Environmental policies for energy security

Energy Economics in China

Research on economic and policy issues related to energy development in China focused on the evolving structure of energy production and consumption, changing energy intensity, energy policies, developments in the oil and gas sectors, dynamics of provincial and regional energy markets, and China's impact on the Asia-Pacific region and the world as a whole.

This work resulted in a book, Energy economy in China: Policy imperatives, market dynamics, and regional developments, authored by Kang Wu and published in 2012.

Strategic Framework for Energy Security in APEC

This project assessed energy security in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) region in light of regional and global economic and energy security developments in recent years. The project was funded by the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) and the National Center for APEC (NCAPEC). A report was prepared and published by NCAPEC in August 2011 and distributed at the ABAC annual meeting during the APEC Summit in November 2011 in Honolulu, Hawaii.

One important aspect of the project was the development of a list of policy recommendations to governments of APEC economies to enhance energy security in the region. These recommendations have since been further refined.

Selected publications

Wu, Kang Wu. 2013. Key drivers behind the refining sector investment and expansions in Asia-Pacific region. International Petroleum Economics [in Chinese] 21(5): 19–23.

Wu, Kang. 2012. Comments on chapter 5: Chinese perspective. In Oran R. Young, Jong Deog Kim, and Yoon Hyung Kim, eds. The Arctic in world affairs: A North Pacific dialogue on Arctic marine issues. 2012 North Pacific Arctic Conference Proceedings. Honolulu: Korea Maritime Institute and East-West Center.

Wu, Kang. 2012.  Energy economy in China: Policy imperatives, market dynamics, and regional developments. Singapore: World Scientific Publishing Co.

Wu, Kang. 2012. Refining and petroleum product trade in the Asia-Pacific region: Current situation and future prospects. International Petroleum Economics [in Chinese] 20(5): 1–6.

Fesharaki, Fereidun, and Tomoko Hosoe. 2011. The Fukushima crisis and the future of Japan's power industry. Asia Pacific Bulletin No. 106. Washington, D.C. East-West Center.

Wu, Kang. 2011. Special report: Capacity, complexity, expansions characterize China's refining industry—past, present, future. Oil and Gas Journal 109(10): 78–87.

Wu, Kang, Fereidun Fesharaki, Tomoko Hosoe, Paul Chattergy, and Ptolemy Powell. 2011. Strategic framework for energy security in APEC: An update. Seattle: National Center for APEC.

Wu, Kang, Fereidun Fehsaraki, Sidney Westley, and Widhyawan Prawiraatmadja. 2011. The quest for energy security. Honolulu Star Advertiser. 20 May.

Fesharaki, Fereidun, and Kang Wu. 2010. Comments on Canada and Russia. In Fereidun Fesharaki, Nam-Yll Kim, and Yoon Hyung Kim, eds. Fossil fuels to green energy: Policy schemes in transition for the North Pacific. Seoul: Korea Energy Economics Institute, pp.169–73.

Fesharaki, Fereidun, Kang Wu, Tomoko Hosoe, and Alexis Aik. 2010. Impact of the global economic crisis on the world energy market: Implications for North Pacific. In Fereidun Fesharaki, Nam-Yil Kim, and Yoon Hyung Kim, eds. Fossil fuels to green energy: Policy schemes in transition for the North Pacific. Seoul: Korea Energy Economics Institute, pp. 2–48.

O'Kray, Caleb, and Kang Wu. 2010. Biofuels in China: Development dynamics, policy imperatives, and future growth. IAEE Energy Forum (International Association for Energy Economics) Second Quarter: 21–24.

Fesharaki, Fereidun, Kang Wu, and Tomoko Hosoe. 2009. Critical issues on North Pacific energy security. In Fereidun Fesharaki, Nam-Yll Kim, and Yoon Hyung Kim, eds. Energy security in the North Pacific. Seoul: Korea Energy Economics Institute, pp.3–115.

Wu, Kang. 2009. Comments on China's perspective on national energy security. In Fereidun Fesharaki, Nam-Yll Kim, and Yoon Hyung Kim, eds. Energy security in the North Pacific. Seoul: Korea Energy Economics Institute, pp.186–206.

Wu, Kang, Batsaikhan Usukh, and Bulganmurun Tsevegjav. 2009. Energy cooperation in Northeast Asia: The role of Mongolia. Ritsumeikan Journal of Asia Pacific Studies 26(December): 83–98.

Wu, Kang, and Lijuan Wang. 2009. Natural gas prices in China: An update. Hydrocarbon Asia 19(4): 6–13.

Wu, Kang, and Fereidun Fesharaki, with Sidney b. Westley, eds. 2007 Asia's energy future: Regional dynamics and global imperatives. Honolulu: East-West Center.

See all current East-West Center Research Projects.