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  • Global Energy Advisory – 22nd January 2015

    Politics, Geopolitics & ConflictYemen Shi’ite Houthi rebels in Yemen have taken over the presidential palace in the capital Sana’a after negotiations over a power-sharing deal with the government collapsed, raising the spectre of an all-out civil war. Oil and gas companies have suspended operations and staff are being evacuated. The country’s only gas terminal has ceased operations. We are looking at the southern province of Shabwah and Marib Province here, where the bulk of oil and gas activities are concentrated. Operations have been halted not only due to security concerns but in part as a form of protest over the…

  • The 8 Major Geopolitical Catalysts Of 2015

    Uncertainty about the immediate future seems to permeate most societies around the world. Few look far beyond the immediate. But what is now being put in place with the current global upheaval will form the basis of the strategic framework for the coming decades. Former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger was quoted as saying that “if you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there”. Updating this in The Art of Victory, I noted: “If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will lead to disaster.” And the hallmark of the world entering 2015…

  • The Paris Jihad, Ready or Not, Has Begun, and Will Widen

    “The future must not belong to those who slander the Prophet of Islam.”— Barack Hussein Obama (address to the United Nations General Assembly, September 2012) The jihadist murders at the French satirical weekly, Charlie Hebdo, on January 7, 2015, was inevitable and long anticipated. So was the concurrent detonation of a car-bomb in front of a Paris synagogue, and so were the lethal clashes with Paris police on January 8, the hostage taking in a kosher market in Paris (where the hostage takers threatened to execute six hostages if the Charlie Hebdo attackers were harmed by police), and the random…

  • Five Geopolitical Predictions for 2015

    One year ago today, the world mulled over the global ramifications of Turkish anti-government protests, Chinese escalation in the East China Sea, and the imminent US military withdrawal from the Middle East. With the global economy finally on the mend, the post-shutdown US government abstained from military engagement in Iraq and Syria, instead seeking reconciliation through diplomacy with Russia and nuclear negotiations with Iran. A year later, however, the tables have turned. Russian aggression in Ukraine has exposed rifts in NATO alliances as Western sanctions bring the Russian economy to its knees. The US-led campaign against Islamic State has erased…

  • Global Energy Advisory - 19th December 2014

    Politics, Geopolitics & Conflict The Sudans: Where Oil Fits in A year ago this week, South Sudan became embroiled in a civil war that has so far killed tens of thousands of people and put paid to its embryonic independence from Khartoum. It started when rebel forces targeted South Sudan’s oil fields shortly after fighting broke out in the capital, Juba. At stake is control of some 75% of all of Sudan’s oil production. The situation in South Sudan was already unsustainable due to the civil war (production had already dropped from 350,000 bpd to 160,000 bpd), and now with…

  • China’s Pivot Toward Europe May Cut USA Out Of Deal

    November 18, 2014: it’s a day that should live forever in history. On that day, in the city of Yiwu in China’s Zhejiang province, 300 kilometers south of Shanghai, the first train carrying 82 containers of export goods weighing more than 1,000 tons left a massive warehouse complex heading for Madrid. It arrived on December 9th. Welcome to the new trans-Eurasia choo-choo train. At over 13,000 kilometers, it will regularly traverse the longest freight train route in the world, 40% farther than the legendary Trans-Siberian Railway. Its cargo will cross China from East to West, then Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus, Poland,…

  • The Russian Empire - Is Kazakhstan Next?

    Astana’s language and nationality policies have put Kazakhstan at risk of becoming a second Ukraine in 2015, according to Ilya Namovir, a Russian linguist who edits the “Russians in Kazakhstan” portal. The next twelve months are likely to be critical because, as a result of changes in laws and treaties, ethnic Russians in Kazakhstan will find it easier to move back to the Russian Federation and ethnic Kazakhs to move back to Kazakhstan. Moreover, the opening of a presidential election campaign in Kazakhstan will provoke the kinds of political declarations that will trigger concerns about the future among those ethnic…

  • Jordanian King Warns Of Impending World War III

    When OPEC, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, imposed an oil embargo on the West for its support of Israel in the October 1973 Arab-Israeli war, the French came out with a series of public service announcements on how to save oil. The 30-second ads gave consumers advice on various ways to economize gas and oil consumption. And the announcements would end with a voice saying: “In France we don’t have oil, but we have ideas.” Today, much the same can be said about Jordan. The country is the only one in the region not producing oil. Its neighbors –…

  • The Great South China Sea Hydrocarbon Grab

    In all of the struggles for territory in history, none has been quite as ambitious or unusual as a country trying to steal a whole ocean. But that is what China is actively doing in the ocean south of the mainland: the South China Sea. Bit by bit, it is establishing hegemony over this most important sea where the littoral states -- China, Taiwan, the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore and Vietnam -- have territorial claims. The importance of the South China Sea is hard to overestimate. Some of the most vital international sea lanes traverse it; it is one…

  • Global Energy Advisory – 21st November 2014

    Politics, Geopolitics and Conflict Under fire from the Islamic State (IS), Baghdad has cut a deal with the Iraqi Kurds, ending a long-running and intensifying dispute over unilateral Kurdish oil exports. This news has not only resulted in a jump in share prices for companies operating in Iraqi Kurdistan, but will also lead to another run on investment in Iraqi Kurd oil plays. Under the agreement between Baghdad and Erbil, the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) will give 150,000 barrels per day of oil exports to Iraq’s federal budget, and in return Baghdad will release $500 million in budget funds for…