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Global Energy Advisory – 21st August 2015

Politics, Geopolitics & Conflict

• Following the Iran sanctions game, as it progresses swiftly, Switzerland has now become the first Western nation to put an end to Iran sanctions in the aftermath of the 14 July nuclear deal. What this means is that there will no longer be a requirement to report trade in Iranian petrochemical products. It also means that the ban on precious metals transactions with Iranian state companies has been lifted. Furthermore, there will be no obligation to report the transport of Iranian crude oil and regulations on insurance and reinsurance policies related to such transactions. This is promising news, but it’s not shocking. The Swiss were positioned to be the first to make this move as they had already informally suspended the sanctions in January last year. This is, however, a message from the Swiss—it’s meant to signal others to follow suit, and we expect they will.

• In the ongoing back-and-forth between the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and the Iraqi central government in Baghdad, a deal to share oil revenues and return the Kurds’ portion of the federal budget is again on the chopping block. The Kurds have withdrawn from the deal in another threatening move as Baghdad is having a hard time getting them the budget money promised under the arrangement. Baghdad is short on cash due to the fight against the Islamic State (IS) and the Kurds are playing hardball and have the upper hand to do…

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