The module examines the strategic importance of energy resources for contemporary states and the claims over them during the 19th and 20th centuries. We follow the transition from the age of coal to the age of oil, Europe’s attempt for energy self-sufficiency and the rally between Europe and the USA for the exploitation of oil resources in the East and the Ottoman Empire. We investigate the ways in which oil exloration effected the strategy of the parties involved in WW II, the post war USA presence in the Middle East, the oil crisis in the ‘70s and its consequences. We consider the coal to oil ratio in Europe and the exploration of new sources of hydrocarbons, as well as possible alternatives to the energy conundrum (nuclear power, wind power, solar power). We further analyse the policies of oil producing countries, along with the geopolitics of oil and natural gas pipes. We examine the dependence of Europe on Russia with concern to hydrocarbons, the Ukraine-Russia conflict, the stance of Turkey and the inauguration of new oil-related wars in the Middle East.
With regard to the Greek case, we examine the energy dependence of Greece, the exploitation of lignite and oil reserves, as well as issues relating to the EEZ and the energy policy, taking into consideration Eastern Mediterranean’s importance to Europe. Finally, the module takes interest in current global antagonism instances and the energy policy of the USA and China.