Tag Archives: Saudi Arabia

Petroleum and crude oil – the future of oil production | DW Documentary Video

Published on Mar 17, 2019  —  [Online until: April 17, 2019]

The market for oil is volatile. The transition from petroleum to renewables is in full swing, and global demand for oil could fall faster than predicted. [Online until: April 17, 2019].

When the price of crude oil tumbled dramatically between 2014 and 2016, it heralded the demise of an economic and geopolitical world order in place since the end of World War II. In the last few decades, fracking technology has turned the US into the world’s largest oil producer. Against that backdrop, the move towards renewable energies and away from fossil resources is making dramatic steps forward. A study published back in September 2012 made headlines by predicting an imminent drop in oil prices.          Continue reading

The danger in what others wish for in Venezuela – By David Jessop

The View from Europe: The danger in what others wish for in Venezuela

David Jessop

February 16, 2018 – By David Jessop

A few days ago, the International Energy Agency reported that oil production in the US was undergoing extraordinary growth. The OECD-related body for net importers of oil said that the increase meant that US “production could equal global demand growth” largely because of its rapidly expanding shale output. This meant that US production would probably reach 11 million bpd by late 2018, outstripping Saudi Arabia and offsetting OPEC-led supply cuts aimed at increasing energy prices.      Continue reading

Trump Shows Realism Toward Iran – M K Bhadrakumar

Trump Shows Realism Toward Iran  –  M K Bhadrakumar | Indian Punchline4

The United States’ regional strategies in the Middle East face multiple challenges and it needs strong nerves and robust realism not to overreact. Importantly, the temptation to display ‘muscular’ diplomacy must be curbed.

Thus, the decision by the Trump administration on Monday July 17, to certify for the second time Iran’s compliance with the July 2015 nuclear deal signifies strategic maturity.

However, this judicious decision does not mean that the sea of troubles is receding. The media leak by the Washington Post, attributed to USA intelligence officials, exposing that the UAE had pre-planned the rift with Qatar, can only be seen as a display of Washington’s disenchantment with the ‘boycotting states’ (Saudi Arabia, UAE, Egypt and Bahrain) and a gentle warning to them not to exacerbate tensions.      Continue reading

“Forget Terrorism”: The Real Reason Behind The Qatar Crisis Is Natural Gas – By Tyler Durden

“Forget Terrorism”: The Real Reason Behind The Qatar Crisis Is Natural Gas

According to the official narrative, the reason for the latest Gulf crisis in which a coalition of Saudi-led states cut off diplomatic and economic ties with Qatar, is because – to everyone’s “stunned amazement” – Qatar was funding terrorists, and after Trump’s recent visit to Saudi Arabia in which he urged a crackdown on financial support of terrorism, and also following the FT’s report that Qatar has directly provided $1 billion in funding to Iran and al-Qaeda spinoffs, Saudi Arabia finally had had enough of its “rogue” neighbor, which in recent years had made ideologically unacceptable overtures toward both Shia Iran and Russia.

However, as often happens, the official narrative is traditionally a convenient smokescreen from the real underlying tensions.    Continue reading

Once a Messiah, Trump Could Turn Out to Be Israel Right’s Worst Nightmare – Analysis:

Analysis: Once a Messiah, Trump Could Turn Out to Be Israel Right’s Worst Nightmare

The U.S.A. president’s cordial phone conversation with Mahmoud Abbas shows the growing influence of Sunni states, led by Saudi Arabia.

Chemi Shalev | Haaretz

You don’t have to love Donald Trump to enjoy him sometimes. Over the weekend, Trump spoke to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and upset – and if he didn’t, he should have upset – the entire Israeli right. A U.S.A. president who states his commitment to a “comprehensive agreement that would end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict” and who emphasizes “his personal belief that peace is possible and that the time has come to make a deal” is one who spells trouble for Jewish settlers and their champions.    Continue reading

The Oil Pricequake: Political Turmoil in a Time of Low Energy Prices

The Oil Pricequake: Political Turmoil in a Time of Low Energy Prices

As 2015 drew to a close, many in the global energy industry were praying that the price of oil would bounce back from the abyss, restoring the petroleum-centric world of the past half-century.  All evidence, however, points to a continuing depression in oil prices in 2016 — one that may, in fact, stretch into the 2020s and beyond.  Given the centrality of oil (and oil revenues) in the global power equation, this is bound to translate into a profound shakeup in the political order, with petroleum-producing states from Saudi Arabia to Russia losing both prominence and geopolitical clout.

To put things in perspective, it was not so long ago — in June 2014, to be exact — that Brent crude, the global benchmark for oil, was selling at $115 per barrel.  Energy analysts then generally assumed that the price of oil would remain well over $100 deep into the future, and might gradually rise to even more stratospheric levels.   Continue reading

Our Radical Islamic instigator – Saudi Arabia

middle east mapOur Radical Islamic BFF, Saudi Arabia

By Thomas L. Friedman  – New York Times

The Washington Post ran a story last week about some 200 retired generals and admirals who sent a letter to Congress “urging lawmakers to reject the Iran nuclear agreement, which they say threatens national security.” There are legitimate arguments for and against this deal, but there was one argument expressed in this story that was so dangerously wrongheaded about the real threats to America from the Middle East, it needs to be called out.

That argument was from Lt. Gen. Thomas McInerney, the retired former vice commander of U.S. Air Forces in Europe, who said of the nuclear accord: “What I don’t like about this is, the number one leading radical Islamic group in the world is the Iranians. They are purveyors of radical Islam throughout the region and throughout the world. And we are going to enable them to get nuclear weapons.”

Sorry, General, but the title greatest “purveyors of radical Islam” does not belong to the Iranians. Not even close. That belongs to our putative ally Saudi Arabia.   Continue reading

Top 10 Countries with the highest Proven Crude Oil Reserves

Top 10 Countries with the highest Proven Crude Oil Reserves

Venezuela - Crude Oil

Venezuela – Crude Oil

Business Insider- eholodny@businessinsider.com (Elena Holodny)2015-08-13

The world powers and Iran recently struck a deal to curb Iran’s nuclear program for at least 10 years in exchange for billions of dollars in relief from international sanctions. One of the most talked-about side effects of the deal is the reentry of Iranian crude on the global markets.

Interestingly, although Iran has a huge amount of oil, the Islamic republic doesn’t even make it into the top three when it comes to proven crude oil reserves.

Using the data provided by Barclays commodities analyst Michael Cohen, we put together a list of the 10 countries sitting on the greatest amounts of crude oil. Check the list here:-  Continue reading

The Global Drop in Oil Prices: Part 1 – Geopolitical consequences

Lower Oil Prices Carry Geopolitical Consequences

November 3, 2014 | Analysis by STRATFOR

The Global Drop in Oil Prices - Part 1Summary

Editor’s Note: The recent drop in global oil prices is affecting economies around the world. This series examines the reasons behind the falling prices and their effects on major energy consumers and producers. Part One discusses the structural changes in the oil market, particularly the growth in supply and the decline in demand.

Part Two will examine the countries likely to be most troubled by price drops, while Part Three will look at the countries likely to gain the most.

Since mid-June, the price of Brent crude oil has fallen by nearly 25 percent — going from a high of $115 to about $87 a barrel — and structural factors are causing concern among global oil producers that oil prices will remain near current levels through at least the end of 2015. This concern has caused several investment banks to slash their oil price outlooks for the immediate future. Stratfor believes that oil supplies will stay high as energy production in North America increases and OPEC countries remain hesitant or unable to cut production significantly. Moreover, in the short term, the Chinese economic slowdown and stagnant European economy will limit the potential for growth in oil demand. These factors could make it harder for global oil prices to rebound to their previous levels.   Continue reading

Cheaper oil- Many winners, a few bad losers

Cheaper oil- Many winners, a few bad losers

A lower price will boost the world economy and harm some unpleasant regimes—but there are risks

Crude oil prices -2014

Crude oil prices -2014

Oct 25th 2014 | The Economist magazine

THE collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 had many causes. None was as basic as the fall in the price of oil, its main export, by two-thirds in real terms between 1980 and 1986. By the same token, the 14-year rule of Vladimir Putin, heir to what remained, has been bolstered by a threefold rise in the oil price.

Now the oil price is falling again. Since June, it has dropped from about $115 for a barrel of Brent crude to $85 or so—a reduction of roughly a quarter. If prices settle at today’s level, the bill for oil consumers will be about $1 trillion a year lower. That would be a shot in the arm for a stagnating world economy. It would also have big political consequences. For some governments it would be a rare opportunity; for others, a threat.

The scale of shale

Predicting oil prices is a mug’s game (we speak from experience). The fall of the past three months is partly the result of unexpected—and maybe short-lived—developments. Who would have guessed that chaotic, war-torn Libya would somehow be pumping 40% more oil at the end of September than it had just a month earlier? Saudi Arabia’s decision to boost output to protect its market share and hurt American shale producers and see off new developments in the Arctic was also a surprise. Perhaps the fall was exaggerated by hedge-fund investors dumping oil they had been holding in the false expectation of rising prices.

Geopolitical shocks can surprise on the upside as well as the down. Saudi Arabia may well decide to resume its self-appointed post as swing producer and cut output to push prices up once more. With war stalking Iraq, Libya still fragile and Nigeria prey to insurgency (see article), supply is vulnerable to chaotic forces.

But many of the causes of lower prices have staying power. The economic malaise weighing down on demand is not about to lift, despite the tonic of cheaper oil (see article). Conservation, spurred by high prices and green regulation, is more like a ratchet than a piece of elastic. The average new car consumes 25% less petrol per mile than ten years ago. Some observers think the rich world has reached “peak car”, and that motoring is in long-term decline. Even if they are wrong, and lower prices encourage people to drive more, energy-saving ideas will not suddenly be uninvented.

Much of the extra supply is baked in, too. Most oil investment takes years of planning and, after a certain point, cannot easily be turned off. The fracking revolution is also likely to rage on. Since the start of 2010 the United States, the main winner, has increased its output by more than 3m barrels per day to 8.5m b/d. Shale oil is relatively expensive, because it comes from many small, short-lived wells. Analysts claim that a third of wells lose money below $80 a barrel, so shale-oil production will adjust, helping put a floor under the price. But the floor will sag. Break-even points are falling. In past price squeezes, oilmen confounded the experts by finding unimagined savings. This time will be no different.

For governments in consuming countries the price fall offers some budgetary breathing-room. Fuel subsidies hog scandalous amounts of money in many developing countries—20% of public spending in Indonesia and 14% in India (including fertiliser and food). Lower prices give governments the opportunity to spend the money more productively or return it to the taxpayers. This week India led the way by announcing an end to diesel subsidies. Others should follow Narendra Modi’s lead.

The axis of diesel

For those governments that have used the windfall revenues from higher prices to run aggressive foreign policies, by contrast, things could get uncomfortable. The most vulnerable are Venezuela, Iran and Russia.

The first to crack could be Venezuela, home to the anti-American “Bolivarian revolution”, which the late Hugo Chávez tried to export around his region. Venezuela’s budget is based on oil at $120 a barrel. Even before the price fall it was struggling to pay its debts. Foreign-exchange reserves are dwindling, inflation is rampant and Venezuelans are enduring shortages of everyday goods such as flour and toilet paper.

Iran is also in a tricky position. It needs oil at about $140 a barrel to balance a profligate budget padded with the extravagant spending schemes of its former president, Mahmoud Ahmedinejad. Sanctions designed to curb its nuclear programme make it especially vulnerable. Some claim that Sunni Saudi Arabia is conspiring with America to use the oil price to put pressure on its Shia rival. Whatever the motivation, the falling price is certainly having that effect.

Compared with these two, Russia can bide its time. A falling currency means that the rouble value of oil sales has dropped less than its dollar value, cushioning tax revenues and limiting the budget deficit. The Kremlin can draw on money it has saved in reserve funds, though these are smaller than they were a few years ago and it had already budgeted to run them down. Russia can probably cope with today’s prices for 18 months to two years, but the money will eventually run out. Mr Putin’s military modernisation, which has absorbed 20% of public spending, looks like an extravagance. Sanctions are stifling the economy and making it hard to borrow. Poorer Russians will be less able to afford imported food and consumer goods. If the oil price stays where it is, it will foster discontent.

Democrats and liberals should welcome the curb the oil price imposes on countries like Iran, Venezuela and Russia. But there is also an increased risk of instability. Iran’s relatively outward-looking president, Hassan Rouhani, was elected to improve living standards. If the economy sinks, it could strengthen the hand of his hardline opponents. Similarly, a default in Venezuela could have dire consequences not just for Venezuelans but also for the Caribbean countries that have come to depend on Bolivarian aid. And Mr Putin, deprived of economic legitimacy, could well plunge deeper into the xenophobic nationalism that has fuelled his campaign in Ukraine. Cheaper oil is welcome, but it is not trouble-free.

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