Oil, gas, nuclear, renewables, energy prices, electricity and climate issues. Scenarios, forecasts and analysis from Geopolitical Intelligence Services (GIS) experts on energy trends.
The technological revolution in Oman’s oil and gas industry
Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) technologies, “cracking” methods for extracting oil and gas from rock formations and reasonable policies toward foreign investors have enabled the Sultanate of Oman to increase its hydrocarbons production remarkably – despite small proven reserves and difficult geology.
GIS Dossier: Failed global climate policies
Since the 1990s, the international community has been trying to keep climate change under control – with less than stellar results. Despite initiatives like the 1997 Kyoto Protocol or the 2015 Paris Agreement, global temperatures are still well on track to increase by 2 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels – the threshold scientists say could lead to dangerous climate effects. Geopolitics and market forces are mostly behind this failure – as GIS experts have been pointing out for some time. In this Dossier, we bring together the analyses that paint the picture of how we got here.
Four implications of electric mobility
China is doubly dominant in electric vehicles (EV), as the world’s biggest market and largest battery maker, with 55 percent of global production. EV makers also increasingly depend on critical raw materials from China such as lithium, cobalt, graphite and rare earths. This growing dependency, along with production bottlenecks and the environmental costs of EV production, may limit its impact on the global energy mix.
What’s next for the Caspian region
Situated at the crossroads of Europe and Asia, the Caspian Sea region plays an outsized role in geopolitical events. In recent years, global powers have made some significant changes in their policies toward the region. China is stepping up its activity, while the U.S. has backed away. Russia’s influence has greatly increased, while Turkey’s has waned. Now, states in the region face a growing threat from Muslim extremism. How well countries meet these challenges will depend on the strength of their state institutions. In Central Asia, that could mean increased cooperation and peace. In the South Caucasus, conflict could be on the cards.
The limited global impact of Trump’s ‘America First’ energy policies
Coal is back in the U.S., with production and exports rising. This has coincided with a President Donald Trump’s “America First” policies in the energy sector. But coal’s comeback is more a function of market forces than politics. And it could be short-lived. Despite all the sound and fury, Mr. Trump's initiatives to support fossil fuels will have far less of an impact on energy markets and global efforts to reduce climate change than his critics claim. Europe, however, could still benefit.
The many faces of Rosneft
Over the past decade or so, Russian oil giant Rosneft has concluded some eye-popping deals and more than doubled production. But its rapid growth has been based on questionable deals and huge debts. Behind the scenes, its CEO, Igor Sechin, has mastered Kremlin power plays. But his circle of enemies is growing. The future of Russia’s oil industry will hinge on how far he continues to push the envelope and whether Rosneft can overcome the legacy he has built.
Mexico’s future in the balance
Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto has astutely managed the threats to his country posed by the new administration in Washington. Even so, the progress that he has made on key domestic fronts may prove too modest to defeat the left-wing challenge from Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador during next year’s elections.
Another twist in the Gazprom saga
Until recently, the EU deliberately shielded its gas business with Russia from the disruption caused by turbulent East-West politics. Now a new round of anti-Kremlin sanctions imposed by the U.S. Congress and the shale gas revolution threaten to upset the complicated energy relationship.
GIS Dossier: Iran’s rise
Iran has methodically built up its influence in the Middle East to become one of the most important powers in the region. It has a growing foothold in Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Qatar. Its rise has inflamed tensions with Saudi Arabia, while a nascent rapprochement with the U.S. has withered under President Donald Trump. It is stepping up military interventions abroad, but remains deeply divided at home. This edition of our Dossier series reviews how Iran got here and our experts’ predictions about what this means for the region and the world.
The long road ahead for electric vehicles
The rise in popularity of electric vehicles has generated plenty of hype. But they still make up a tiny percentage of cars on the road, and are expensive relative to their gasoline- and diesel-burning counterparts. So far, their impact on the environment is minimal, even excluding the fossil fuels it takes to make them and the resource exploitation required for their batteries. While advances in technology can always surprise, there is no reason to expect the demise of the internal combustion engine anytime soon.