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Geopolitics / International

  • Global Energy Advisory – 3rd July 2015

    Politics, Geopolitics & ConflictEgyptWe are concerned about the potential fallout and wider implications of the assassination of a high-ranking Egyptian official, Prosecutor General Hisham Barakat, who was killed when a car bomb was detonated next to his motorcade in Cairo's Heliopolis district on Monday. Barakat is the highest-ranking government official to be assassinated in the past two years. This is a major show of force by unknown militants, and the security response will be heavy-handed. Two days later, militants launched a major strike in the Sinai Peninsula to mark the anniversary of Egypt’s military coup. Investors should be aware that…

  • Global Energy Advisory – 26th June 2015

    Politics, Geopolitics & Conflict Greece on the Brink The back and forth between Europe and Greece over the past few weeks is reaching its denouement. Earlier this week it appeared as if Greece and its European overlords – EU member states led by Germany, the European Central Bank, and the International Monetary Fund – were close to a deal. But in the last few hours things have taken a gloomy turn. After several days in which many insiders and analysts insisted that a deal was “very close,” they have failed to find common ground. And in the last 24 hours,…

  • Global Energy Advisory – 19th June 2015

    Politics, Geopolitics & Conflict Elections in Turkey and Erdogan’s ‘Defeat’Turkey’s 7 June parliamentary elections are important not only for anyone eyeing oil and gas exploration in Turkey, but for anyone investing in the wider region because Turkey is a key player in the geopolitical dynamics of East and West—dynamics that in part dictate the future movement of oil and gas in a large part of the world. Recep Erdogan, the leader of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) has enjoyed a great deal of power in Turkey, but this does not go unchallenged. The 7 June parliamentary elections have seen…

  • Global Energy Advisory – 12th June 2015

    Sudan & South Sudan: A Lifelong Dictator for Khartoum, and More Oil Uncertainty in the South South Sudan’s military said its forces are in control of the oil fields in Unity and Upper Nile States, while rebel forces claim the contrary, saying they have captured the fields. What this really means is that the battle is still raging, and no one is in complete control. The likelihood is that the rebels have made gains here, but the government cannot concede this because this would be the end game. The rebels, likewise, have a need to exaggerate their successes. South Sudan’s…

  • Global Energy Advisory – 5th June 2015

    Global Energy Advisory – 5th June 2015 Forget About Syria, or Reduced OPEC ProductionSyria is now a lost cause as far the US is concerned. By this we mean that the US has lost this game in which it was only dabbling—with significant consequences—from the start. China and Russia will go on about how there was an underlying sinister plan on Washington’s part when it helped the Saudis create what is now the Caliphate-bound Islamic State (IS), but this was quite simply incompetence. This is Iran’s game now. Wealthy Saudis are, of course, still doing their best to keep IS…

  • Global Energy Advisory – 29th May 2015

    Politics, Geopolitics & ConflictAs we predicted, trouble has flooded across Saudi Arabia’s eastern border with Yemen. On 22 May, a suicide bomber blew himself up at a Shi’ite mosque here, with several killed and scores wounded. This was in the village of al-Qadeeh. The battle between Saudi forces and Yemen’s Houthi forces has significantly intensified since the Saudis launched their bombing campaign eight weeks ago, and we’re looking a lot of carnage here, with no visible results for either side. The main border crossing has been destroyed. If it goes too much farther, this proxy war between Iran and Saudi…

  • Global Energy Advisory – 22nd May 2015

    Politics, Geopolitics & Conflict South Sudan South Sudanese rebels claim to have captured a key refinery for the country’s largest oilfield (Paloch) in the Upper Nile State. The rebel MO here is to target oil facilities in order to deprive the government of oil revenues—upon which the budget is entirely dependent and which represents its only way of financing the fight against the rebels in this civil war. The two-year civil war pits forces loyal to South Sudan President Salva Kiir against ‘rebels’ allied with Kiir’s former deputy, Riek Machar. South Sudan only achieved independence from Sudan in 2011. While…

  • Global Energy Advisory – 15th May 2015

    Geopolitics & OilLet the games begin in Cuba …As the US and Cuba work to restore diplomatic relations, keeping in mind that we are doubtful the US trade embargo on Cuba will be lifted until after the 2016 presidential elections, Cuba is flaunting what it says are billions of barrels of oil in its offshore Gulf of Mexico territory. So far, there isn’t a great amount of excitement over Cuba’s announcement. In 2012, three exploration wells came up dry and, at present, most are eyeing new opportunities in Mexico since it opened up its oil and gas to foreign companies…

  • Global Energy Advisory – 8th May 2015

    Africa/Middle East Oil & Gas UpdateKurdistanThe Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in northern Iraq is upping the ante with Baghdad over the long-running oil question. Now Erbil is suggesting that it is prepared to discuss a new oil deal with the Iraqi central government in which Baghdad would actually buy Kurdish oil. This new innovation is the latest in the ongoing dispute between Erbil and Baghdad over the former’s unilateral exports of oil that Baghdad believes belongs to the central government and for which it previously cut Kurdistan’s share of the country’s national budget. In December, the two sides signed an…

  • Global Energy Advisory – 1st May 2015

    GeopoliticsRussian Oil and Gas: The Squeeze Is On—Sort ofEuropean Union regulators have formally charged Gazprom with abusing its dominant market position in Europe—a charge a long time (2.5 years) in the making and a move that will likely increase tensions with Russia. According to the European Commission, Gazprom has significantly hindered competition in Central and Eastern European gas markets, and has infringed on European single-market rules by forbidding the resale of its gas between EU countries, allowing it to charge unfair prices. Furthermore, Gazprom may also have abused its dominant market position by making the supply of natural gas dependent…

Martin tiller