Energy and Power Engineering, 2013, 5, 1440-1444
doi:10.4236/epe.2013.54B273 Published Online July 2013 (
Study on the Risk of Regional Energy Security
Ying Shen, Xintong Yang, Xiaoli Guo*
Changchun University of Technology, Changchun, P.R.China
Received May, 2013
Energy security is an issue that many countries pay more attention to. Cooperation is a good way to solute it. According
to the complex system theory, the regional energy cooperation means a state or process of balance system formed by the
interaction and behavior coordination between agents. The features of the regional energy cooperation risk include: un-
certainty, potential, fuzziness, diversity, relevance and particularity. And the regional energy cooperation risk can be
divided into risk inside the system such as main body ability stru cture of the risk and main body decision-making risk,
and the risk outside the system such as external environment factors and cooperation pattern factors.
Keywords: Energy Security; Regional Cooperation; Risk
1. Introduction
In the background of economic globalization and inte-
gration, with the growing trend of interconnect and in-
terdependent between energy producers and consumers,
as characters of International Energy Security, reciproc-
ity, symbiosis and cooperative appear increasingly. It is a
trend to carry out cooperation and participate in the in-
ternational competition to develop the industry of each
country. In international energy security cooperation, the
economic environment, political environment, manage-
ment terms are more complicated than in the domestic
areas, while there are a great deal of advantages from
participating in International Energy Cooperation. There
are a lot of risks, which including not only general risk
from opportunism, trust mechanisms, but also special
risk because Energy as a commodity has the nature of
political, economic and diplomatic. Therefore it is an
important problem for cooperative behavior agents to
strengthen risk prediction and prevention.
According to the complex system theory, the interna-
tional energy cooperation risk can be divided into risk
inside the system and the risk outside the system. The
risk inside the system includes main body ability struc-
ture of the risk and main body decision -making risk. The
risk outside the system includes external environment
factors and cooperation pattern factors.
2. The Analysis of Regional Energy
Cooperation Risk
2.1. Regional Energy Cooperation Risk Concepts
and Features
“Energy cooperation” is still have no clear uniform defi-
nition, but th e cognition about energy co operation under-
standing of target is consistent: The aim of energy coop-
eration is to ensure energy security, co operation is a kind
of way to keep energy security, the essence of energy
cooperation is take cooperation for safety. The concept
of energy cooperation is th at it is the unity of pro cess and
state, to prediction “static” state from the process of
“move”, and in turn reflects the process of “move” from
the process of “static” state. The regional energy coop-
eration means a state or process of balance system
formed by the interaction and behavior coordination be-
tween agents. Its connotation is: 1) behavior subject is
governments; 2) cooperation method is dialogue and
consultation; 3) the scope of cooperation involves the
military, security, foreign, ecological and other areas of
production consumption process; 4) goal is to achieve a
win-win situation.
We can see that the regional energy cooperation is “set
by set”, it constitutes by the N (N2 system elements,
and each system elements is a small set. The unbalanced
system is a chaotic system, and it is the original form of
cooperation. Tempor ary balance syste m will beco me into
the unbalanced system because of the changed conditions,
and then become the next starting point of the conversion.
The final balance system is an ideal state of cooperation,
is also the highest state of cooperation, the performance
of cooperation is the larg est interests of the who le system.
*Corresponding author.
Copyright © 2013 SciRes. EPE
Y. SHEN ET AL. 1441
The regional energy cooperation contains both the bal-
anced and disequilibrium system state and also contains
the conversion process from disequilibrium state to bal-
ance state. The relationship between the body means the
behavior interaction through the affection between each
other in the outside world, the result of the interaction is
contradictions and conflicts. Behavior coordination refers
to the body through coordination behavior including
means or measures to solve the contradictions and con-
flicts, such as pointing to a balanced “cooperation” and
back to a balanced “betrayal”, the purpose is to realize
their own benefit maximization (cooperation benefits
decrease the cost of the betrayal or cooperation income
minus the betrayal costs). In particular space, when agents
showed clear point to balance system behavior coordina-
tion, and began to have the organization function, so the
cooperation began. The regional energy cooperation risk
is due to the system internal and external potential factors,
lead to regional energy cooperation deviation “equilib-
rium” the possibility and degree of state. This concept
contains two meanings: one is the probability of imbal-
ance happened; the other is the extent of the imbalance
1) The uncertainty
The uncertainty means whether or not the risk is hap-
pening, whenever it occurs and the loss rate are not cer-
tain. This uncertainty is more evident in the regional en-
ergy cooperation. For example, some risk occur in the
cooperation, some risk occur in the cooperation process
produces, some occur in the end of cooperation. The state
of risk and the influence degree of uncertainty change are
random happen.
2) The potential
The potential is the existence of risk in basic form. In
addition, the risk can exist in certain conditions as the
prerequisite. With the change of external environment,
the risk in regional energy cooperation can present dif-
ferent development trend.
3) The fuzziness
The internal and external environment is very complex
in the regional energy cooperation. Some information is
known, while some other information is unknown. The
influence of risk factors is very difficult to quantify .In
addition, risk factors can't accurately describe.
4) The diversity
The scope of the regional energy cooperation and en-
ergy of the economical, political and diplomatic triple
attributes to the diversity of risk. The regional energy
cooperation has much risk which includes economic,
political and management.
5) The relevance
Risk factors in the regional energy co operation can re-
late to each other .In addition, they can influence each
other .In addition, a kind of risk factor may cause other
risk factors ensued, and even cause the disruption of co-
operation .As a result, the influence of cooperation is
integrity, such as political friction may bring economical
contradiction and environmental protection contradiction,
resulting in the risk of management techniques.
6) The particularity
Relative to the general cooperation, energy coopera-
tion risk has its particularity. Energy is often as countries
carry out the strategy of points, so the risk of energy co-
operation has characteristics of political strategy.
2.2. The Risk Source of Regional Energy
According to the definition, all the influence of factors
which can destroy stable cooperation may result in the
occurrence of cooperation risk.
To begin with, from benefits of the conflict, the re-
gional energy cooperation is ultimately behavior between
bodies of cooperation, the fundamental purpose of the
behavior cooperation is benefits. If actions without ex-
pected benefits in the cooperation, it may choose to quit.
Each behavior body can hope its own benefits are the
largest. At the same time, they can hope to benefits from
cooperation that shares the largest piece of. Once the
behavior body do not get due reward, other agents from
cooperation can get the far more profitable than him, the
cooperative initiative will inev itab ly be h it, as soon as the
other opportunities, very likely choose betrayal.
Secondly, the behavior of energy cooperation is spon-
taneously formed which has individual independence. In
addition to contract o r agreement, the behavior of energy
cooperation is not coercion constraints or control. Agents
to continue or not random cooperation, distrust and spec-
ulation will be moved cooperation. The characteristics of
energy cooperation to cooperation risk is not completely
avoided, so the only can do is is how to reduce the oc-
currence of possibility, cooperation is more likely.
Finally, the external environment of the regional en-
ergy cooperation is an important factor [1]. The regional
energy cooperation not only considers the economical
environment, but also considers th e political env ironment.
Cooperation of both sides is whether it helps to promote
cooperation on international relations, domestic political
environment is stable, policy and economic environment
on energy cooperation is to encourage or restrictions.
3. The Risk of Subject Ability Structure
In recent years, some scholars study the influence of the
ability structure to the reg ional cooperation . Cui Wei-g uo
(2004) [2] shows that when the ability is too big b etween
regions, cooperation is almost have no chance. Yang
Xian-ming (2005) [3] based on principal component
analysis, choose the allocation of resources capacity, the
Copyright © 2013 SciRes. EPE
transformation of the industrial structure ability, the
technical development capability, trade development
capacity and opening economy ability and these five in-
dicators to evaluate the ability of structure level, and
show the influence of the area ability structure to re-
gional cooperation. Huang Ning (2008) [4] by using the
coupling formu la of district ability structure, explain two
areas where the more similar the total capacity struc-
ture index and the bigg er the ability structure of the cou-
pling index, the greater likelihood the two areas to de-
velop the economic cooperation. Proof that the two re-
gions structure decide s the ability to ga in total ben efits of
cooperation size, the stronger the both part of coopera-
tion ability structure, the greater total benefits the coop-
eration can achieve, and the part which have strong abil-
ity structure may obtain more benefit. These studies
showed the main body ability structure decides the re-
gional cooperation scope and cooperation efficiency.
This paper begin with the emphasize of the structure
ability of main body, according to the characteristics of
the international en ergy cooperation, Have the evalu ation
from the following four aspects: the allocation of re-
sources capacity, technical development ability, the trade
development ability and the ability to open economic,
and get ability structure index through the calculation.
This paper discusses the influence of the structure of the
country's ability to the region’s energy cooperation, "for
short, body ability structure of the risk.
3.1. The Allocation of Resources Capacity
The index of resources capa city allocation mainly is con -
stituted by the index of level of economic development,
investment spending, and financial position of govern-
ment, the degree of mercerization and allocation effi-
ciency. It includes economy aggregate, population, social
total retail sales of consumer goods, the total amount of
investment and the level of industrial structure.
3.2. Trade Development Ability
Reflect economic extroverted degree, including total
import and export, FDI absorbed dose and FDI absorbed
dose per GD P.
3.3. The Economic Open Ability
Ensure that you return to the ‘Els-body-text’ style, the
style that you will mainly be using for large blocks of
text, when you have completed your bulleted list.
3.4. Technology Development Ability
Technology development capability index consists of
several indicators including technology innovation, the
technical transformation, technology absorb. It also In-
clude human input propor tion, labor productivity and the
percentage of R&D in GDP.
4. Subject Decision-making Risk
Behavior subject is the leader and participant of the en-
ergy cooperation, with the cooperation’s generation and
development, behavior between bodies from the start of
the isolated affection to each other transformed into con-
tact interaction. Behavior decision-making risk mainly
shows the following respects in the game playing.
4.1. Trust Risk
Trust is a powerful guarantee to maintain the process of
cooperation. Agents lack of mutual trust, which will in-
crease wrong cognition and hostility between each other
for cooperation intention, cooperation ability, increase
conflict of interests in cooperation on both sides, influ-
encing behavior body’s decision-making. At present,
psychology, sociology and economics, and other disci-
plines have relatively common understanding on trust
production and the existence conditions, mainly refers to
interdependence, communication and continuous con-
tacts [5].
4.2. Opportunism Risk
Opportunistic is a form of behavior which pay attention
to the interests of the short-term. The behavior body’s
subjective understanding and psychological anticipation
can form different cooperation vision, and have different
expectations about the future benefits. When a real in-
come and ideal income have larger divide, the body be-
havior in the next cooperation may exit. Or in a game,
earn temporarily interests, withdraw cooperation. If the
actions in the cooperation opportunity in the body pursue
socialist, seek temporary interest, and damage the inter-
ests of the partner, which will definitely affect the con-
tinuous and stable cooperation.
4.3. Information Asymmetry
The objective cause of the information asymme try is that
information is processed data, due to d ata collection staff,
technical, the method, the purpose is different, after data
processing the information upon which it is unified, and
the more the processed process and levels and the errors
to the more times amplified, the greater the information
distortion. Subjective reason is that different economic
individuals get information asymmetry of ability, and at
the same time the provider are interested in news keep
some important information or distribute some false in-
formation, and another on the market there are insider
trading which will also lead to both trade information
asymmetry. In the process of repeated game, information
Copyright © 2013 SciRes. EPE
Y. SHEN ET AL. 1443
asymmetry often make the body to make the wrong deci-
sion behavior, the betrayal of a party in order to avoid
suffered losses because of betrayal in the next coopera-
5. The External Environment Factors
The international energy cooperation system’s economic
environment and the political environment is the main
source of external cooperation risk [6]. The Table 1 be-
low shows the international energy cooperation risk en-
vironment factors.
6. Cooperation Pattern Factors
Cooperation pattern is to point to the energy consumer
country realize the energy consumer energy security;
take effective cooperation way to solve these problem [7].
According to the historical experience, the international
energy cooperation pattern mainly has: the common goal
cooperation, share information cooperation and common
action cooperation and depend on each other cooperation
[8]. The first three cooperation pattern is mainly used for
the cooperation between consumer country and the last
one is used for the cooperation between producers and
6.1. Common Goal Cooperation
This model only limited target, not set ways and the me-
thods, the elastic is larger. According to their specific
countries different measures have been taken, more
Table 1. The international energy cooperation risk envi-
ronmental factors.
risk category Risk environmental factors
environment geopolitical
relations Political relations, economic relations
environment Economic level, i n f lation, and foreign
exchange policy, economic risk
Cost environment Exploration and development cost, prof it
standard, infrastructure, pipe facilities
Finance and tax
Currency stability, the terms of the contract,
the tax system, the contractor earnings ratio,
and cost recovery limit
environment Political stability, political risk, political
Availability of resources, system stability,
policy available for foreigner s, the mining
right, the openness of resourc e s cooperation,
foreign cooperation policy
flexible, so, main body ability structure of the risk and
the external environment factors have little influence.
The target set by the all countries is consensus. Each
country against the wishes of the cooperation is very
small, speculative risk is not big. However, this pattern
has not the effectiveness of enforcement, and set the
common goal of general is long-term, profit is not sure in
the long-term, which will affect cooperation faith and th e
enthusiasm in short term, trust risk and asymmetric in-
formation risk may produce during the cooperation. This
model is used to solve "long-term supply" problems be-
tween consumer countries, set a unity of purpose. As for
IEA is oil member in 1985 set 12 guiding principles
about oil imports goals and energy policy.
6.2. Sharing Information Cooperation
Share information requirements agents to provide timely
complete information to each other, can avoid the asym-
metric information, to obtain more information from both
parties, bring the long-term benefits, the risk of informa-
tion asymmetry is not big. But, the parties will worry
about the truth be understand by the external, thus creat-
ing the opportunity and conditions for the competitor or
fear that the other party to provide false information and
achieve unbalance benefit. So, it’s easy to produce the
trust risk and speculative risk. Second oil crisis, the IEA
expand the member countries to share information coop-
eration, to the oil market, oil reserves, oil exploration
information comprehensive monitoring, with important
information released in time, avoid the market price,
chaos and irrational decisions. Between member states
set up promptly supply and demand in time, long-term
supply and long-term needs of the comprehensive infor-
mation sharing cooperation.
6.3. Common Action Cooperation
Common action cooperation pattern is a higher manda-
tory cooperation pattern, under this pattern the obligation
of all parties burden is heavy, the cost of all countries
and betrayal is higher, implement it step by step, de-
pending on the behavior of the other countries to decide
whether the next step cooperation is going on, this way
effectively prevent betrayal behavior occurrence, benefi-
cial to the long-term cooperation. But, this kind of coop-
eration pattern have the influence of international body
ability structure is bigger, it is, the more urgent and
mandatory the situation, the notable the ability structure
risk. In addition, the cost and benefit from cooperation
distribution difficulties, so trust risk and information
asymmetry risk is great. IEA internal emergency oil
sharing mechanism, IEA about national emergency oil
sharing mechanism strategic petroleum reserve's number
and the provisions of the common release, about the
Copyright © 2013 SciRes. EPE
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"minimum reserve price" regulation, in energy technol-
ogy to research and belong to the category of common
action contract mode.
6.4. Mutually Dependent Cooperation
Mutually dependent cooperation involves only two coun-
tries, by domestic situation great influence, if one party at
a disadvantage, subject to the other party, cooperation
uneven distribution of income, the main body of a large
effect on the ability structure. Easy to cause the third
party to misunderstanding or the third party conflicts of
interest, the external environment is also great risk. So
countries will not only take bilateral mutually dependent
cooperation secure energ y security, and will rely on each
other and multilateral cooperation combined.
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