Insider Secrets

Insider Secrets

Learn how the PROs are making money from the oil and energy market.

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Geopolitics

  • Syria: When is Enough, Enough? When the Oil becomes “Islamized!”

    The "cruelty and carnage" in Syria, is how the situation in that country has been described in a rare joint statement by the chiefs of five UN organizations. The statement came accompanied by a plea to the international community to take concrete action and stop the bloodshed.“Enough!” It cried out as fierce fighting continues to claim lives.The chiefs of the WHO, UNICEF, OCHA, WFP and the UNHCR urged political leaders to do “something more than funds” to help end the crisis in Syria. The United Nations reports that to date no less than 70,000 people have lost their lives and…

  • Foreign Oil & Gas Companies Look to Status Quo in Venezuela

    Now that Nicolas Maduro—the late Hugo Chavez’s choice for successor—has narrowly won Sunday’s presidential elections in Venezuela, oil and gas investors can expect a perpetuation of the status quo. In Sunday’s vote, Maduro won with a very narrow 50.7% and a vow to continue with Chavez’s “revolution,” which has seen the oil industry nationalized and the state-run PDVSA oil company funding social programs and voraciously courting China and Russia. The narrow vote will not be without its challenges. Opposition rival candidate Henrique Capriles has refused to recognize the results and is demanding a recount, though the electoral commission is standing…

  • Iraq-Jordanian $18 billion pipeline – Reality or Fantasy?

    The Middle East is not renowned for thinking small, especially in terms of energy projects.The Jordanian and Iraqi media are announcing, amidst great fanfare, an agreement to construct a 1,043 mile-long new dual $18 billion pipeline, to transit Iraqi crude oil and natural gas to Jordan, capable of transmitting one million barrels of oil and 258 million cubic feet of gas per day from Iraq’s Basra port on the Arabian Gulf to Jordan's Aqaba port in the Gulf of Aqaba on the Red Sea.The project has apparently moved beyond the planning stage, as Iraq oil ministry's State Company for Oil…

  • Maduro May Open Oil Doors, But For Who?

    The apparent victory for Nicolos Maduro in the Venezuelan presidential election may give the United States a sense of hope for improved ties with the Latin American oil giant. His service as a diplomat could make him at least tepid toward Washington, a sentiment backed by outreach efforts before the election. U.S. supermajor Chevron, meanwhile, is among the major players expressing interest in the vast oil deposits that lie off Venezuela's coast. Caracas, for its part, is eager to bring more foreign investors into the country. With U.S. oil production in a boom cycle, however, it's unclear if U.S. eyes…

  • Kurds Seize Oil Initiative in Iraq

    Crude oil from the semiautonomous Kurdish region of Iraq has reached the international market for the first time. Oil was ferried by truck across the northern Iraqi border to Turkey from the Taq Taq oil field, operated by Turkish energy company Genel Energy. The central government considers unilateral oil trading from the Kurdish north illegal, highlighting a political row that's been festering for years. Iraq, however, is now the second largest crude oil producer among members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. Production is gaining steam 10 years after U.S. forces invaded the country, but its full potential is…

  • Targeting Iran's Energy Sector Isn't Working

    Asian consumers are expected to help the Iranian oil sector recovery briefly this month. The U.S. State Department in March lauded Japan for its "significant reductions" in crude oil exports, which qualified it for an exemption from economic sanctions. Iranian crude oil deliveries to Japan are expected to rebound, however, as some of the country's refineries return to service after maintenance shut them down last month. Sanctions are meant to starve Iran of the revenue it needs to support nuclear research programs. At the very least, multilateral negotiations in Kazakhstan last weekend may have kept the conversation moving in a…

  • Bahrain Places Hezbollah on Terrorist List

    The tiny Gulf kingdom of Bahrain became the first Arab country to place the Shiite Lebanese movement, Hezbollah, on their terrorist list earlier this week. It is a rather bold step on their part and the implications are enormous while the ultimate consequences are yet unknown. In punishing Hezbollah, Bahrain is at the same time pointing an accusing finger directly at Iran.But first some background on the reasons behind this latest development. Bahrain, much like Lebanon has an important Shiite community. And much like the Shiites in Lebanon, those in the oil-rich sheikhdom felt that they were not treated on…

  • Chinese Energy Firms Invade U.S. Neighbors Mexico and Canada

    In 1946, with the U.S.-USSR-British military alliance that had defeated Germany and Japan in World War Two unraveling, U.S. diplomat George F. Kennan cabled a dispatch to Washington advocating a policy of “containment” of the USSR that was to become the bedrock of U.S. foreign policy during the Cold War until the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991.In the last two decades, despite the implosion of the USSR and its subsequent dissolution, the U.S. and its European allies have advanced NATO up to the Russian Federation’s western frontiers, incorporating former eastern and Central European satellite states Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary,…

  • Egypt Lacks Oil and Sense of Humor

    Egypt’s economy is in rather bad shape; practically in a shambles. Unemployment is officially placed at 13 percent, though the reality is certainly much higher. Inflation has almost doubled since November and the country’s ageing infrastructure continues to suffer from lack of resources. Buildings in parts of Cairo often crumble and collapse, killing their occupants due to lack of proper building codes.Tourism, one of Egypt’s largest sources of hard currency revenue has dropped about $4 billion per year. An unprecedented surge in crowds attacking and molesting women continues to worry many, especially women who feel at risk every time they…

  • Sudan-South Sudan: Watch Now as the Oil Flows

    I’ve been skeptical about investing in either of the two Sudans without an oil and border security deal in place. That said, recent developments remove a lot of the political risk, so now might be the time. Earlier this month, Sudan and South Sudan reached an agreement for the resumption of South Sudanese oil exports through Sudanese infrastructure. There have been oil deals before and they were dead in the water because they didn’t come along with border security agreements. This time we’ve got the full package. The deal calls for a withdrawal of troops from both Sudan and South…