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Global Energy Advisory 15th July 2016

Politics, Geopolitics & Conflict

• Iran has moved closer to the final approval of its new contract – the Iran Petroleum Contract – aimed to lure back international oil companies. The IPC has been subject to much opposition from political hardliners who see in it a danger of Iran relinquishing its control over its natural resources. However, it seems that the reformist camp around President Hassan Rouhani and Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh has prevailed: The IPC has now been approved by the Resistance Economy Headquarters. The news is certainly important for Iran and the region but it’s also important for the world. After all, Iran used to be OPEC’s second-largest exporter of crude before Western sanctions came into effect. If the IPC lives up to expectations, it may very soon regain the #2 spot, which will have an immediate and significant effect on global prices, pushing back the moment when the global crude oil market rebalances, regardless of what Saudi officials are saying; namely, that the glut is over. It’s not over, and with oil revenue-hungry Iran it’s unlikely to be over any time soon.

• Meanwhile, tension is growing among neighbors in the South China Sea. China has claims to some 80% of the basin, which is a major waterway between Europe, Asia and the Middle East, while the Philippines, Vietnam, Taiwan, and Brunei are, naturally, opposing these claims. The latest episode in this saga was written by the Hague-based…

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