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Global Energy Advisory May 19th 2017

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Politics, Geopolitics & Conflict

• Iran is holding a presidential election today and there seems to be a consensus that the incumbent, Hassan Rouhani, is the likely winner. Rouhani came to power in 2013 as a political moderate who managed to forge a deal with the West to lift economic sanctions that were choking the economy in exchange for curbing Iran’s nuclear power program. The Rouhani government restarted Iran’s energy industry and boosted its production closer to pre-sanction levels. However, the conservatives have gained in popularity over the years, arguing that the nuclear deal was disadvantageous to Iran and mocking Rouhani’s estimates of $50 billion in foreign investment waiting to start flowing into Iran’s economy. Rouhani’s lead has declined but it is still there, according to observers. If he wins, Iran will continue on the reform course, ramping up its energy industry with the help of foreign companies. If conservatives gain the upper hand, it’s very likely that tension with the West will increase, the U.S. won’t grant a sanction waiver to the businesses waiting to return to Iran, and energy industry growth will slow down. Regional tensions with Saudi Arabia will also jump – the bilateral rhetoric is already quite heated and a conservative win could escalate the situation. From an oil perspective, billions of dollars in oil and gas investment are at stake in this election, largely from European and…

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