Insider Secrets

Insider Secrets

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

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Geopolitics

  • 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…

  • Boston Marathon Attacks, Chechnya and Oil – the Hidden U.S. Connection

    As Boston and U.S. security agencies congratulate themselves over the apparent neutralization of a pair of Chechens that bombed the Boston Marathon, troubling questions are beginning to arise.First and foremost is, why a pair of Chechens, born in the former Soviet republic of Kyrgyzstan, apparently committed the attack?For possible answers, one must looks beyond the present and delve into Russia’s and the USSR’s past policies towards Chechnya, and since 1991, U.S. policy in the Caucasus, which since the 1991 implosion of the USSR had a single focus – the exploitation of the Caspian’s massive energy reserves.It is a history that…

  • Colombian Insurgencies Continue to Target Foreign Energy, Mining Companies

    Nowhere else in the world is the disparity between rich and poor so extreme as in Latin America.Beginning in the late 1950s with the triumph of Fidel Castro’s revolution in Cuba, Central and Latin America have simmered ever since with various ongoing militant struggles against fiscal and social injustice.The best known of these is Colombia’s Marxist Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia, more commonly known by the acronym FARC.Colombia has Latin America’s fourth largest economy, but the distribution of wealth is highly unequal, with a 2006 report by the National University of Colombia reporting that only 13.8 percent of total national…

  • YEMEN: Chaotic Venue Offers Up New Exploration Tenders

    Bottom Line: Yemen is offering up new oil exploration licenses citing a great interest by foreign oil companies, but the truth is that this venue presents THE HIGHEST political risk of any venue anywhere in the world.  Analysis: Bidding ends on 15 May and the licenses up for grabs are in the al-Sabaateen Basin, al-Rub al-Khali Basin and the Aden-Abyan Basin, according to the country’s Oil Ministry. Some of the sectors included have never been explored. There are 15 blocks (10 offshore and 5 onshore) up for auction and 20 April is the deadline for letters of intent. Earlier in…

  • Ghana Oil Boom Raises Piracy Specter

    Recent significant offshore oil discoveries in Ghana will catapult the nation into Africa’s major producers club, but it will also be a boon for piracy on the high seas, which has more recently expanded its reach to include Ghana’s coastal waters. Ghana has gone from producing no oil in 2010 to become a major producer by the end of 2012. Over the past three years, there have been 13 discoveries in Ghana, and a key field is nearly maximum production levels, with new projects ready to come on line. As of 2012, Ghana’s proven reserves were at about 660 million…

  • Will Syrian Oil Developments Mirror Libya's?

    Al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri said in an April 7 message that Syrian opponents of Bashar Assad should work to establish an Islamic state. Civil war, now in its third year, shows few signs of ending and a lack of international solidarity on the way forward has fractured the country's rebel movement. Bruce Riedel, a former CIA officer, described Syria's al-Qaida wing, Jabhat al-Nusra, as the "fastest growing al-Qaida movement in the world." Al-Nusra's allegiance to al-Qaida has forced the Free Syrian Army to distance itself from the movement, highlighting the lack of cohesion among opponents of the Assad regime. Nevertheless,…

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