• 2 minutes Oil Price Could Fall To $30 If Global Deal Not Extended
  • 5 minutes The Inconvenient Truth Of Electric Cars
  • 8 minutes Iran downs US drone. No military response . . Just Destroy their economy. Can Senator Kerry be tried for aiding enemy ?
  • 4 hours Here we go folks, the wish of so many: Pres. Trump threatens to lessen US security role in Strait of Hormuz, unveils sanctions
  • 4 hours Climate change & Wildfires: More Wildfires To The Western U.S., Will Affect Tens Of Millions Of People
  • 6 hours Wonders of Shale - Gas, bringing investments and jobs to the US
  • 5 hours Magic of Shale: EXPORTS!! Crude Exporters Navigate Gulf Coast Terminal Constraints
  • 13 hours Hard To Believe: UAE Will Work To Defuse Middle East Tension
  • 2 hours The Strait of Hormuz is the world’s most important oil transit chokepoint
  • 7 hours The Plastics Problem
  • 9 hours Looks like Trump is putting together a "Real" Coalition to protect Persian shipping lanes. Makes perfect sense. NO Fake "Coalition's of the Willing" UPDATE REUTERS Pompeo "Sentinel Program"
  • 2 hours Here We Go: New York Lawmakers Pass Aggressive Law To Fight Climate Change
  • 11 hours Cherry Picking Climate Data
  • 14 hours Oil Demand Needs to Halve: Equinor
  • 14 hours Green vs. Coal: Bavaria Seeks Fast-Track German Coal Exit in Snub to Merkel Plan
  • 7 hours Is $60/Bbl WTI still considered a break even for Shale Oil
Alt Text

Can Artificial Intelligence Save The Nuclear Industry?

Nuclear plant decommissioning is a…

Alt Text

The 100-Year Old Wildcatter Poised For A Breakout

Noble Energy is an industry…

Alt Text

The No.1 Trade-Off For U.S. Shale Companies

U.S. shale companies find themselves…

Robert Rapier

Robert Rapier

More Info

Premium Content

How Russian Trolls Are Disrupting Energy Markets

It is well-established that Russian trolls attempted to sow discord during the latest U.S. presidential election. But a recent report from the House Science, Space and Technology Committee has charged that Russian trolls are also actively trying to disrupt U.S. energy markets.

Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) released the report which claims Russia has extensively attempted to influence U.S. energy markets in the same way they sought to disrupt the political process — through divisive and inflammatory posts on social media platforms.

In a press release, Chairman Smith explained the motivations behind Russia’s alleged interference:

“This report reveals that Russian agents created and spread propaganda on U.S. social media platforms in an obvious attempt to influence the U.S. energy market. Russia benefits from stirring up controversy about U.S. energy production. U.S. energy exports to European countries are increasing, which means they will have less reason to rely upon Russia for their energy needs. This, in turn, will reduce Russia’s influence on Europe to Russia’s detriment and Europe’s benefit. That’s why Russian agents attempted to manipulate Americans’ opinions about pipelines, fossil fuels, fracking and climate change. The American people deserve to know if what they see on social media is the creation of a foreign power seeking to undermine our domestic energy policy.”

The report focused on the Internet Research Agency (IRA), a Russian internet troll farm based in St. Petersburg. The report found that between 2015 and 2017, there were an estimated 4,334 IRA accounts on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. During that time frame, there were over 9,000 Russian posts or tweets regarding U.S. energy policy or a current energy event on these social media platforms.

Information provided by Twitter showed that over 4 percent of all IRA tweets were related to energy or environmental issues, compared to 8 percent of IRA tweets that were related to the U.S. presidential election. The IRA posts targeted pipelines, fossil fuels, climate change and other divisive issues to influence public policy in the U.S. Related: The Next Big Trend In Offshore Oil & Gas

It isn’t the first time Russia has been accused of such actions. Another report in January 2017 from the U.S. Director of the Office of National Intelligence stated that RT, a Russian international television network funded by the Russian government, “runs anti-fracking programming, highlighting environmental issues and the impacts on public health. This is likely reflective of the Russian Government’s concern about the impact of fracking and U.S. natural gas production on the global energy market and the potential challenges to Gazprom’s profitability.”

The motivation for Russia to sow discord in the energy markets is clear. Russia’s oil and gas revenues are responsible for about 40 percent of all Russian government revenue. As U.S. energy production grows, it threatens Russia’s dominant energy status over Eastern and Central Europe. That’s why Russian agents have attempted to exploit tension points, such as the Native American social and political issues over the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline.

By Robert Rapier

More Top Reads From Oilprice.com:




Download The Free Oilprice App Today

Back to homepage


Leave a comment
  • Sam on May 08 2018 said:
    I wonder if the IRA had any articles post Fukushima disaster in Germany and France to influence reducing the use of nuclear energy.
  • Lee James on May 08 2018 said:
    I am Texas-born and regularly question the environmental legacy of unconventional petroleum. I even question crude production economics; but there is some hope now for favorable free cash flow. The price of crude has risen.

    What may differentiate me from the St. Petersburg troll factory is that I think it is in the interest of world peace to get away from oil dependency -- everywhere. Today, crude oil revenue is paying for significant amounts of weapons and conflict in the Mid-East. One country in particular sells oil and then ships arms and pulls triggers in the Mid-East.

    I don't know of wind and solar systems contributing to unrest and wars, except for maybe the "war on coal." Time to do energy differently.
  • Philip C Branton on May 09 2018 said:
    I can assure you that I am not Russian.....


    It's the energy slavery..... Stupid....

Leave a comment




Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News