Security and the Subsurface: Natural Gas and the Visualisation of Possibility Spaces

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Beneath the surface of the United Kingdom lies a sprawling natural gas infrastructure. Based on recent (2014/15) ‘follow the thing’ fieldwork conducted in the UK onshore gas industry, this paper explores the ways that dangers related to the subterranean circulation of natural gas come to be visualised, and how these visualisations make possible different security interventions. These practices are shown to be limited by the ground, which despite its enrolment as a security device conceals from view the shifting landscapes of risk that surround these gaseous movements. Drawing on Manuel DeLanda's concept of the possibility space, I provide a conceptual framework for attending to security’s visualisation practices, describing how attempts are made to overcome the subsurface obfuscation of natural gas. I argue that, rather than being understood as a process of circulatory ‘filtration’ or ‘maintenance’, security must instead be regarded as a series of transformative practices of ecological (re)organisation that are predicated upon the visualisation of entities’ spaces of possibility. In the process, I provide an account of how the three-dimensional geographies and materialities of gas circulations and their milieus are intimately tied up in their governance and politics.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)143-166
Number of pages24
Issue number1
Early online date17 Oct 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2020
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'Security and the Subsurface: Natural Gas and the Visualisation of Possibility Spaces'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this