Politics, Geopolitics & Conflict
• The British government is still in favor of fracking, according to the Communities Minister, despite opposition from local authorities, fuelled by environmentalist protests. The support took more specific form today, when the Tory Cabinet decided to grant permission to Cuadrilla, a gas exploration company, to employ hydraulic fracturing in Lancashire. The central government’s decision has overruled the local legislative authority and is bound to lead to protests.
• ISIS is adapting to new security measures and military takeovers quickly. For revenues, French sources say the group is now ramping up trafficking in cigarettes, food and drugs to replace reduced illicit oil revenues. In the meantime, while Western media is keen to view any possible victory over ISIS in Mosul as the beginning of the end for ISIS, the likelihood is that it will adapt, regroup and relaunch elsewhere.
• The bill opening up Brazil’s pre-salt oilfields to foreign firms has passed. Beyond this, there will be even more pre-salt blocks up for grabs by foreign firms as an additional move has been made to amend the regulations governing the Transfer of Rights. The caveat is that foreign companies getting in on this second Transfer of Rights loophole will not be able to be operators, which is the purview of state-run Petrobras. There is also more good news for foreign oil companies: Local content requirements will be less restrictive…