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Geopolitics

  • 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…

  • Global Energy Advisory - 5th September 2014

    Regulations & ComplianceA new real estate law in Egypt will require companies to pay taxes on oil fields. The law was amended in late August, but criteria are still being developed by the relevant ministries and there is a three-month deadline for this before implementation, though the Finance Ministry is hoping to speed up the process. The new real estate tax base will apply to industrial, petroleum and tourism industries, along with ports, mines, quarries and similar facilities. With the new amendments, the property tax will be set at 10% of a unit’s rental value and 3% of a unit’s…

  • Global Energy Advisory - 29th August 2014

    Geopolitical/Conflict DevelopmentsIraqi Oil UpdateIraqi government forces have reportedly thwarted another attempt by the Islamic State (IS) to take over the Baiji refinery in northern Iraq. This refinery accounts for around one-third of Iraq’s total production, but produces for the domestic market, not exports. Key producing fields, for exports, in the south remain unaffected so far by the IS advance. In the meantime, Iran has come out with clear support for new Iraqi Prime Minister, Shi’ite Haider al-Abadi, after the ouster of Nouri al-Maliki.  Iran has also been providing Iraqi Kurdish forces with weapons to fight back IS in the north,…

  • Libya May Be Focus Of Major Rift Between US And Regional Allies

    It had become clear by late August 2014 that Libya could no longer be seen as a unified state; at best it was in two parts, even with the communal leaderships of both sides professing a desire to resume national unity. By late August 2014, the country had two parliaments: one elected by the Libyan people, and the other given legitimacy solely by foreign support.   The situation seemed so intractable by that point that it was possible that a full military intervention by regional states, perhaps spearheaded by Egypt, could be attempted, with the goal of stabilizing the country and…

  • What Territorial Dispute? Vietnam Moves To Repair Relations With China

    The government of Vietnam is sending a senior politburo member to China to help repair relations that were strained over Beijing’s deployment of an oil rig in waters of the South China Sea claimed by Hanoi.The move, on May 1, started a serious dispute between the two countries, sparking violent and often deadly demonstrations in Vietnam and confrontations at sea between Vietnamese boats trying to approach the rig and Chinese coast guard vessels sent to protect it.Two-and-a-half months later, China withdrew the $1 billion rig, the Haiyang Shiyou 981, saying it had completed its work and should be moved out…