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Geopolitical Risks On The Rise In The Middle East

Much attention is now duly focused on the Middle East (again), with what is widely believed to be an Israeli attack on an Iranian armaments facility–the level of destruction of which remains disputed. With Netanyahu back on the throne in Tel Aviv, we expect more hard-handed Israeli meddling, which in turn could back Iran into a corner. The concern is twofold: Combined with a resurgence of war-like activities between Israel and the Palestinian Territories, concentrated Israeli attacks on Iranian targets could lead to a wider war in the Middle East. There are on-and-off concerns of the potential for an Iranian attack on Saudi or UAE oil facilities, though we note that Saudi-Iranian talks appear to have been resumed in Baghdad, where the goal is to work towards reconciliation, which is not likely to happen if Tehran thinks Riyadh is entertaining any sort of normalization of relations with Israel (as the UAE has done). Normalization with Israel is far less likely with Netanyahu back in play. Wild predictions won’t work here, as the situation is far too dynamic and there are too many variables, especially when you combine the restive situation on the ground in Iran right now. 

Another area of focus this week for industry watchers should be Libya, where many may be wondering why an $8-billion deal between the Libyan National Oil Company (NOC) and Italian giant Eni, which went down with great fanfare, is now said to be “illegal”. This is where the…

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