follow us like us subscribe contact us
Loading, please wait

Geopolitics / International

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • Global Energy Advisory – 7th November 2014

    Politics, Geopolitics & Conflict We are closely monitoring oil developments in Somaliland, which threaten to cause instability in northern Somalia. Somaliland’s separatist administration is proposing an Oil Protection Unit (OPU), which could trigger all-out armed confrontation between Puntland and Somaliland over the disputed territory of Sool. A UN monitoring group is calling for the cessation of all commercial activity in the oil sector due to looming threats. The brewing conflict stems from Somaliland’s granting of oil exploration licenses to foreign companies—including Genel Energy, Rakgas, DNO and Ansan Wikfs—which is being challenged by the Somalia Federal Government and Puntland. Somaliland is…

  • Global Energy Advisory – 24th October 2014

    Politics, Geopolitics & ConflictYemen Chaos on All FrontsYemen is by far our biggest oil and gas red flag this year, and the past month has seen the situation here reach a critical point. Weeks of protests by Houthi and then fighting between Houthi and rival forces in the capital Sanaa left over 200 people dead. This is a complicated conflict that has divided the Yemen security forces, half of which have sided with the Houthi. A peace deal has since temporarily ended the fighting, but sporadic, targeted attacks by the Houthi against their political enemies continue, while al-Qaeda-linked forces continue…

  • Global Energy Advisory – 17th October 2014

    Geopolitical HighlightsKurdish CrudeBaghdad has banned three foreign oil tankers from entering Iraqi ports. United Carrier, United Dynamic and Nautilus—all of which have transported Kurdish crude and bypassed the Iraqi central authorities--have been banned. United Dynamic and United Carrier are managed by Greece-based Marine Management Services, which has previously been targeted by Baghdad in a September lawsuit over Kurdish crude. The ban is just a small hiccup in a burgeoning business of unilateral sales of Kurdish crude on international markets. This week, another tanker registered in the Marshall Islands left the Turkish port of Ceyhan with 1 million barrels of Kurdish…

  • Global Energy Advisory – 10th October 2014

    Geopolitics & Domestic PoliticsBulgariaOn the election front, Bulgaria’s center-right Citizens for European Development (GERB) won snap elections last week, and will likely receive around 90 seats in the 240-seat parliament, followed closely by the Socialists and ethnic Turkish Movement for Rights and Freedoms, which will each gain around 70-80 seats. It will be very challenging to form a stable coalition under these circumstances. From the oil and gas perspective, what’s at stake here immediately is a Russian gas pipeline that would give Moscow more leverage over Europe’s energy. Earlier this year, the Bulgarian government announced it would suspend work on…

  • The Oil Weapon: A New Way To Wage War

    Washington Takes on ISIS, Iran, and Russia.It was heinous. It was underhanded.  It was beyond the bounds of international morality. It was an attack on the American way of life.  It was what you might expect from unscrupulous Arabs.  It was “the oil weapon” -- and back in 1973, it was directed at the United States. Skip ahead four decades and it’s smart, it’s effective, and it’s the American way.  The Obama administration has appropriated it as a major tool of foreign policy, a new way to go to war with nations it considers hostile without relying on planes, missiles,…

  • Global Energy Advisory - 3rd October 2014

    Licenses & Tenders•    Shell and Statoil have been awarded the Timissit Permit License in the Illizi-Ghadames Basin onshore Algeria. This was the first licensing round in Algeria since the 2013 attack on the BP/Statoil Amenas gas facility. The license area is in southeastern Algeria and covers 2,730 square kilometers. Statoil oil is the operator with a 30% interest, while Shell holds a 19% interest, with the largest share, 51%, held by Algeria’s state-run Sonatrach. This is a shale gas play that could be significant for Europe.•    France’s Total SA has been awarded a license to explore for natural gas in…

  • 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…