Insider Secrets

Insider Secrets

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

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Geopolitics

  • POLAND: Gazprom Foments Political Crisis

    Bottom Line: The Polish government claims that EuroPolGaz negotiated a controversial MOU with Russian Gazprom in early April without its knowledge, and now it’s all about damage control over a Russian-Polish pipeline that would bypass Ukraine. Analysis: This is another Gazprom attempt to lash out at Ukraine, which is pursuing energy independence, and the plan is to use Warsaw to punish Kiev. It’s also meant to be a slap in the face to the European Union, which would find itself with another Russian pipeline on its territory in contravention of its energy market legislation. Poland’s treasury minister has already been…

  • SOUTH SUDAN: More Good News for Oil Production

    Bottom Line: Following a long-awaited agreement with Sudan that has South Sudan ready to continue oil production, other developments bode well for South Sudan output, including the integration of rebel groups into the army and promising talks with Sudan that could resolve a dispute over ownership of assets belonging to former state oil company Sudapet.  Analysis: As of last week, some 3,000 rebels of the South Sudan Liberation Movement (SSLM) surrendered and agreed to an amnesty deal that would integrate them into the South Sudan army, heralding an end to a long-running insurgency that has continued to plague oil production…

  • Kenya Aspires to be East Africa Hydrocarbon Transit Hub

    Kenya is moving forward incrementally with its massive $24 billion regional infrastructure project, the Lamu Port-South Sudan-Ethiopia Transit Corridor (LAPSSET), awarding a key tender to a Chinese company.In early April, a consortium led by China Communications Construction Company won the tender to build the first three berths at Kenya’s Lamu Port—the first step towards an overall plan that will link South Sudan and Ethiopia—both landlocked—to the Indian Ocean port and create the infrastructure necessary to bring East African hydrocarbons to international markets.This is the second major tender for China Communications Construction Company, whose China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC) paid…

  • Should the US Intervene in Syria?

    Should the United States become militarily involved in Syria? Should Washington impose a no-fly zone, grounding the government’s warplanes and attack helicopters, thus giving the opposition forces a better chance? Should President Barak Obama send in US troops to quell the fighting and the increasing violence of which there seems to be no end in sight? And would the deployment of American troops in Syria not simply add to an already complex situation, turning the conflict into another military quagmire for American forces similar to what happened in Iraq and Afghanistan?  Indeed, in the event of a US intervention, just…

  • Fractured US Intelligence Rules out Greater Cooperation with Russia

    The US intelligence community is in a state of disarray—most recently illustrated by the Boston Marathon Bombings—and the idea of a more structured cooperation with Russian intelligence as a direct result of this incident is a paper tiger. The mainstream US media has latched on to the idea of a new era of US-Russian intelligence cooperation as a result of the Chechen connection to the Boston bombing because this is an attractive post-Cold War idea that makes for good headlines. The reality is clearly less dramatic. The mounting US intelligence failures since 9/11 can in large part be contributed to…

  • SYRIA: EU Lifts Oil Embargo to Help ‘Opposition’

    Bottom Line: The European Union has lifted its oil embargo on Syria ostensibly to provide “economic support” to the rebels fighting the Assad regime, but the rebels—40%+ infiltrated by Sunni jihadist groups—are not cohesive enough to make use of the oil fields they now nominally control, and the Assad regime controls the country’s two refineries. Analysis: When the EU on Monday lifted its oil embargo on Syria, it should have taken anyone who has a clear understanding of what is going on in Syria right now by surprise. In the north, the Kurds control one oilfield—purportedly protecting it on behalf…

  • PARAGUAY: Cartes Election Victory Good for Business

    Bottom Line: The victory of Colorado Party candidate Horacio Cartes in Paraguay’s presidential elections on 21 April sets the stage for a strengthening of the oil and gas industry and a more attractive atmosphere for foreign investors. Analysis: Cartes is a consummate businessman. His dossier is an impressive one: He founded Banco Amambay, one of the country’s largest financial institutions, as well as tobacco and food and beverage companies including Tabacos del Paraguay, Compañía Agrotabacalera del Paraguay, Bebidas del Paraguay, Agrocitrus del Paraguay, Ganadera Sofia, Ganadera Chajha and Ganadera Las Pampas. While he says he has divested himself of any…

  • Amid Deteriorating Security, Libya Seeks Higher OPEC Quota

    A day after Libya announced it would seek to increase its OPEC oil output quota once production reaches 1.7 billion barrels per day, an attack on the French Embassy recalled the dismal security reality in the country. On Tuesday, a car bomb exploded outside the French Embassy in Tripoli, in the upscale neighborhood of al-Andalus, wounding three and setting the building on fire. The explosion took place in the early morning hours before staff arrived at the facility.  This is the second major attack on a Western diplomatic facility since September 2012, when the US ambassador and three others were…

  • Libya's Security Should Mirror Oil Ambitions

    A U.S. report on the 2012 attacks in Benghazi highlighted longstanding concerns about the threat level in Libya. The interim report from the House of Representatives followed an attack this week that left parts of the French Embassy in Tripoli destroyed by a car bombing. Last year's attack on the U.S. consultate in Benghazi left U.S. Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens and three of his staff members dead. Libya has struggled with post-conflict stability and reconstruction tied to its oil sector. The government there said this week it wanted to increase oil production, echoing sentiments about offshore natural gas exploration…

  • The Implications of the EU’s Lifting Sanctions on Syria’s Oil

    In an astute political move the European Union lifted its embargo Monday on oil imports from Syria. Actually better make that an embargo lifted on oil imports from rebel held areas in Syria.  This is a de facto sidelining of the regime in power by the EU and recognition of the rebels as the legitimate representatives of the Syrian people. Which opposition group will represent Syria in future talks with the EU however remains as murky as the war many of the various factions engaged in the Syrian conflict are fighting. Indeed, the forces queuing up to help President Bashar Assad…

Martin tiller