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Geopolitics

  • The Black Sea: A New Frontier for Energy Geopolitics?

    Halliburton may be interested in Romania’s offshore oil fields, but it could face a challenge from a bolstered Russian presence in the Black Sea.Russia’s claim to the Crimean Peninsula, and collocated military assets, pose a notable security threat to the longstanding maritime division of the Black Sea. The Exclusive Economic Zones, as well as territorial and contiguous zones with oil and gas resources, are possibly vulnerable to Russian interference. Even the threat of military presence may increase investment risks in the Romanian and Ukrainian offshore oil sector. This security and geopolitical risk is likely to stifle investment interest. Russia is…

  • Global Energy Advisory - 26th September 2014

    Geopolitical & Conflict UpdatesIraqFor August 2014, Iraq’s oil export revenues were down to $7.1 billion, from $7.8 billion in July. Exports for August were at 73.6 million barrels, and the selling price for Iraqi crude was at $97.4 per barrel, down from $102.8 per barrel in July. This reflects the cutoff of exports from the oilfields in northern Kirkuk since the beginning of March due to the Islamic State’s (IS) overrunning of the area and attack on a pipeline to Turkey, while production continues unimpeded in Iraq’s major-exporting southern fields.This is just a sneak preview, though of the geopolitical quagmire…

  • ‘Moderate Iran’ Still Only After One Thing

    Iranian Oil, Gas and International SanctionsThe Iranian petroleum industry was a very effective organization before the Islamic revolution in Iran in 1979. The National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) operated efficiently in all sectors of the industry, from upstream exploration to production, petrochemicals, and natural gas to downstream refining and domestic marketing. Further, before 1979, the NIOC was a very highly respected oil company with a well-functioning management in international sectors. In the early 1970s, the NIOC expanded impressively, investing heavily in refinery constructions in India, South Korea, South Africa, and Senegal under agreements to provide crude oil to these refineries.…

  • Azerbaijan’s Geopolitical Importance Goes Beyond Oil and Gas

    The Middle East is being consumed by some of the worst violence in its history, caused by Arabs themselves amidst unprecedented cruelty and destruction. At the rate the fighting is progressing, it is only a matter of time – and not much time – before we start to see tactics involving the bombing of oil and gas fields.It would not require very much for the infrastructures of the states involved in the conflict to collapse and crumble. Without crucial revenues from oil and gas, what would be left behind would be fractured countries with little more than the memories of…

  • Global Energy Advisory - 19th September 2014

    Geopolitical & Conflict UpdatesCentral AsiaWe are closely watching the spillover effect of the Russia-Ukraine crisis, as Central Asian states become more disillusioned with Moscow. Russia is also provoking discontent in Central Asia by making vague references to Kazakhstan’s statehood that have not been well-received, while Uzbekistan now has more justification for its long-running skepticism of Moscow’s intentions. We expect continued provocations by Moscow and moves by Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan to assert their administrations’ control over foreign policy. IraqReports are emerging that the Islamic State (IS) was earning around $3 million per day in July from oil sales related to…

  • Oil: A Blessing And A Curse For The Middle East

    What exactly is at stake in the battle for control of the Middle East, other than the obvious -- the region’s abundant oil and natural gas? And why is it coming to a head now?There are two aspects to what is currently transpiring in the Middle East: the battle for the region’s natural resources and the battle for the region’s human resources.Related: Oil Companies Turning Away From The Middle EastThe region’s natural resource wealth has long been both a blessing and a curse. It has helped countries like the United Arab Emirates and Oman achieve amazing progress in a relatively…

  • Kremlin Says Sanctions Will Cost Europe

    The Kremlin says strengthened sanctions from the European Union and United States against Moscow will cost the West more than Russia.The EU on Sept. 12 formally extended its ban on 15 companies’ access to shares or bonds issued by European institutions that mature in more than 30 days. The companies include three energy giants – Gazprom Neft, Rosneft and Transneft – and three major manufacturers – Oboronprom, Uralvagonzavod and United Aircraft Corp.The new sanctions also forbid EU companies from signing new contracts for oil drilling and exploration in partnership with Russian firms.  And they prohibit European companies from providing related…

  • Global Energy Advisory - 12th September 2014

    Geopolitical & Conflict UpdatesUkraine•    Ukraine has only about 20% of its oil demand filled at this time, with only 2 of its 6 refineries operating. Typically it buys oil from Belarus, Lithuania, Poland and Russia but is now in talks with Azerbaijan•    Poland has stopped reverse-flow deliveries of natural gas to Ukraine, claiming that Russia has reduced flow of its gas to Poland. The Polish oil and gas corporation (PGNiG) claims that deliveries of Russian gas had fallen 20% to 24% in the past two days, but Gazprom insists that flows remain unchanged. This cat and mouse game has to…

  • Islamic State’s Ultimate Goal: Saudi Arabia’s Oil Wells

    For the terrorist group known as the Islamic State, Syria and Iraq were a good place to start their campaign, but in order to survive and prosper it knew from the outset that it had no choice but to set its sights on the ultimate prize: the oil fields of Saudi Arabia. It is in that direction that the battle for control of the world’s largest oil fields is currently heading.Islamic State -- which has its origins in al-Qaeda – knows fully well that in order to sustain itself as a viable and lasting religious, political, economic and military entity…

  • Eliminating The Scourge Of Islamic State In Iraq

    A rise in sectarian violence in Iraq is complicating the struggle to form a national unity government, the first and vital step in combatting the jihadist Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham, which is now calling itself Islamic State.US airstrikes against Islamic State seem to have slowed the group’s momentum. When it captured Mosul, Baiji, and Tikrit in quick succession last June, Islamic State’s stunning advance was made possible by a virtually nonexistent Iraqi air force and an Iraqi army that offered no real resistance. Remarkably, two Iraqi divisions – 30,000 soldiers – capitulated to a jihadist force of just…