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Archive for the tag “crude oil”

The Cartel That Failed

Saudis, Russia, shale. That is all ye need to know in order to understand the oil market. The Saudis lead the OPEC oil cartel, Russia is their largest potential fellow traveler, and the Permian Basin in the Southwest is the oil-rich shale that stands between the other two and $100 per barrel oil.

Read Here – The Weekly Standard

China And Iran To Expand Trade To $600 Billion In A Decade

Chinese President Xi Jinping attends a welcome ceremony before talks with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in Tehran. Courtesy Xinhua

Chinese President Xi Jinping attends a welcome ceremony before talks with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in Tehran. Courtesy Xinhua

China and Iran mapped out a wide-ranging 25-year plan to broaden relations and expand trade during the first visit by a Chinese leader to the Islamic republic in 14 years.

Read Here – Bloomberg

Saudi Arabia Spends Billions To Get Asia Hooked On Its Crude Oil

At the heart of South Korea’s Onsan Refinery lies a street called “A.I. Naimi Road,” an homage to Saudi Arabia’s oil minister. The reason: state-owned Saudi Arabian Oil Co. holds a 65 percent stake in the complex.

Read Here – Bloomberg

Saudi Arabia’s New “With Us Or Against Us” Attitude

This January King Salman will mark a year as leader of Saudi Arabia. As the new cabinet in Riyadh adjusts to the personal proclivities and vision of King Salman for the year ahead, it will face pressures to maintain its unity and support for a new set of policies for the Kingdom, even as realities evolve on the ground.

Read Here – The National Interest

And There Goes Iraq…

The roots of the current violence go at least as far back as Iraq’s 2006-2007 civil war, which didn’t so much end as get put on hiatus. The spate of sectarian violence pitted the Shiite-majority government against Sunni militias and al-Qaeda in Iraq (a group from which ISIS emerged). The U.S. troop “surge” halted the bloodshed and got Sunni groups to side with the government against foreign jihadists. But it failed to produce a greater political resolution. With the departure of American forces from the country in 2011, these grave tensions reemerged.

Read Here – The Atlantic

No Middle East Exit Yet For The US

Until cars and trucks can be powered by solar, wind, or nuclear energy, the entire world depends on the free flow of oil from the Persian Gulf region. That requires American security guarantees, which require our presence. And until radical Islamist organizations utterly lose their local appeal, we’ll have little choice but to intervene periodically for reasons that have nothing to do with economics or resources. For the time being, aggravating though it may be, Americans and Arabs are stuck with each other. We can take a bit of a breather, but retirement is decades away.

Read Here – WorldAffairsJournal

The Changing Map of Middle East Power

The eruption of the Arab revolts in late 2010 and early 2011 put power relations among Middle Eastern countries in a state of flux, and both winners and losers have emerged. But, given that the strengths and weaknesses of most of the actors are highly contingent, the regional balance of power remains highly fluid.

Read Here – Project Syndicate

Foreigners Boost U.S. Shale Gas Boom

It’s not just Chinese firms that are seeking to profit from America’s energy boom. Roughly 20 percent of the $133.7 billion invested in U.S. tight oil and shale gas from 2008 to 2012 came from abroad. To date, from Asia, Japanese companies have invested $5.3 billion; Indian companies $3.55 billion; and Korean companies $1.55 billion. From Europe, U.K. companies have invested $3.95 billion; French companies $4.55 billion; and Norwegian companies $3.38 billion.

Read Here – Businessweek

Irrelevant In The Middle East

While the Obama White House attempts to spin the president’s recent Middle East trip as a diplomatic success, in reality it provided more evidence of how irrelevant the United States has become to the byzantine politics of the region. The White House claims that President Obama orchestrated a rapprochement between Turkey and Israel after a period of tension. But the president’s trip ignored three deeper and more profound subterranean shifts in Middle East power alignments to fill the void left by the American strategic departure from the region.

Read Here – US News & World Report

The Coming Dash for Gas

Exploratory drilling near the coasts of Cyprus, Egypt, Israel, Lebanon, Syria, and Turkey has unearthed vast reserves of natural gas. Competition over the rights to tap those resources is compounding existing tensions over sovereignty and maritime borders. The eastern Mediterranean is quickly becoming as volatile as its eastern cousin, the South China Sea.

Read Here – Foreign Affairs

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