Geopolitical & Conflict Updates
We are closely watching the spillover effect of the Russia-Ukraine crisis, as Central Asian states become more disillusioned with Moscow. Russia is also provoking discontent in Central Asia by making vague references to Kazakhstan’s statehood that have not been well-received, while Uzbekistan now has more justification for its long-running skepticism of Moscow’s intentions. We expect continued provocations by Moscow and moves by Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan to assert their administrations’ control over foreign policy.
Reports are emerging that the Islamic State (IS) was earning around $3 million per day in July from oil sales related to 11 oil fields now under its control in Iraq and Syria. Oil is reportedly being sold to Turkey, Iraq and Jordan at $25-$60 per barrel—a minimum of $40 less than world oil prices. However, we do not expect IS to be able to maintain this black market oil business indefinitely. IS is losing control over these assets from a logistics standpoint, particularly as workers are fleeing the scene. Over the past couple of months, IS revenues have dwindled to half that, according to some estimates.
Producuction has been halted at Libya’s Sharara field—the largest producer—after a rocket attack on the connected Zawiya refinery on 15 September. This represents a 30% cut in production overall for Libya. Sharara…