Oil, gas, nuclear, renewables, energy prices, electricity and climate issues. Scenarios, forecasts and analysis from Geopolitical Intelligence Services (GIS) experts on energy trends.
Oil market rebalancing and the future of ‘OPEC+’
In 2016, some oil-producing countries that were not part of OPEC joined with the cartel to agree on production cuts to shore up oil prices. At the time, plenty of observers were skeptical the group would hold together. But not only did it manage to implement the reductions (and extend them twice), it has put a floor under oil prices. Now that prices are rising, many again doubt the alliance will survive. But the realities of the oil market continue to make cooperation beneficial, especially for the two leading countries: Saudi Arabia and Russia.
India and the Middle East: energy at the heart of new strategic partnerships
Over the past 15 years, India has elevated many of its relationships with countries in the Middle East to “strategic partnerships.” But how much substance is there to that moniker? Energy is the driving force behind the phenomenon: Indian demand for fossil fuels is rising sharply, while Middle Eastern countries want to shore up their positions in a crucial market. Beyond that, there is little that is “strategic” about these ties, and the interests of energy buyers and sellers are not necessarily aligned.
Global Outlook 2018: The energy revolution and its growing uncertainties
How fast the world moves toward cleaner energy hinges on several difficult-to-predict factors, including climate change policies, the glut in oil and gas markets and disruptive technologies. What seems sure is that renewable energy sources won’t overtake fossil fuels in the medium term and that natural gas will loom larger in geopolitical conflicts.
Increased electricity usage could derail EU energy targets
The digitization and electrification of the transport and heating sectors, as well as the robotics revolution in industry, have many excited about conserving energy and improving efficiency. But those hopes may be ill-placed: all those factors point toward increased electricity usage in Europe in the years to come. That could mean the EU's energy policies for the next couple of decades overly optimistic, if not entirely unrealistic.
Turkey’s energy dilemma: Brussels or Moscow?
The relationship between Turkey and the EU has been rocky ever since the political crackdown after last year’s coup. Moscow has stepped in to enhance cooperation with Ankara, especially in energy. While Turkey is attempting to limit its dependence on Russian gas imports, all its options are complicated. This new relationship between Turkey and Russia has stark consequences for Europe’s energy security.
Mugabe is out, but his power structure remains
Robert Mugabe lost Zimbabwe’s presidency to his former right-hand man Emmerson Mnangagwa in a coup prepared jointly by the military and one of the ruling party’s factions. The new ruling team is more focused on defending its power and privileges in the impoverished country than on addressing its profound problems.
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.