Politics, Geopolitics & Conflict
• Here’s what happens when you have two rival governments in a country where everyone thought forced regime change would be a good idea: You lose your oil deal if it’s with the ‘wrong government’. Ask Swiss-based Glencore. The ‘internationally recognized’ regime in Libya—that holed up in Benghazi—says Glencore’s oil-export deal with Tripoli is unfortunately with the wrong government as such, doesn’t exist. It also gives you a good idea about who supports which government, and why. It has less to do with the traditional elements of religion and democracy than most are conned into thinking. The Benghazi government has made it clear that it had the power to physically prevent Glencore tankers from using Libyan ports—if simply telling the company that its deal was on worthless paper wasn’t enough.
• Brazil’s state-run Petrobras appears to be getting a reprieve as a three-week strike by oil workers winds down after an agreement with unions; however, the strikes did cost the company almost 2.3 million barrels of oil in production. The strikes were in protest against the company’s divestment plans as it seeks to get rid of $15 billion in assets by the end of next year.
• We’re not going to spend too much time on the Syrian conflict this week, but we will note that there are few correct media perceptions about the Turkish downing of a Russian jet that ostensibly flew into Turkish airspace. While everyone is obsessed with whether or not this was an intentional attack, or whether the Turks gave the Russians warning beforehand, the real issue here is oil and the Turkish president’s decisive stance supporting regime change in Syria, now directly pitting Russia against Turkey. Right before the downing of the Russian jet, Russia took out an ISIS-controlled refinery and petroleum tanker trucks. A lot of this oil and gas has been making its way across the border into Turkey (among other places you wouldn’t believe). It’s cheap oil for Turkey. Russia took it out of play. Russia is not far from the truth in saying that in many ways, Turkey is supporting the Islamic State.
• Texas-based ATP Oil & Gas Corp. has agreed to pay $41.85 million in fines to settle federal charges that it discharged crude oil and chemicals from its floating production platform into the…