Oil, gas, nuclear, renewables, energy prices, electricity and climate issues. Scenarios, forecasts and analysis from Geopolitical Intelligence Services (GIS) experts on energy trends.
Decarbonization and global instability
The fight against climate change is currently focused on managing demand and increasing production from non-fossil-fuel sources. But those efforts disregard the strategic interests of major oil- and gas-producing states that depend on exports. Until those countries have an alternative for economic development, keeping the global temperature rise below 2 degrees Celsius will remain a pipe dream.
The myth of cheap Russian gas
As arguments swirl over the Nord Stream-2 gas pipeline, one thing is taken for granted – Gazprom can sell gas cheaper than rival suppliers. But reserves of low-cost gas from Russia’s West Siberian fields are dwindling, while output from the new Yamal fields must be heavily subsidized to offset high production and transport costs. The European Union could be entering an era when U.S. LNG is fully cost competitive or even cheaper than Russian gas, if it doesn’t let Russia distort the market.
GIS Dossier: Nuclear energy
The 2011 Fukushima disaster brought nuclear energy development programs around the world to a screeching halt – temporarily. Though Germany plans to fully phase out nuclear power production, Japan has brought several reactors back online, and other countries have restarted construction on nuclear plants. These developments have had huge geopolitical effects: Germany’s fossil fuel imports from Russia have grown, while China has found an opening to increase its sway on four continents by financing nuclear projects.
GIS Dossier: China’s global ambition
The People’s Republic of China is now attaining military might commensurate with its global economic position. This emerging colossus faces a dramatic demographic challenge at home, however, and stiff international resistance to some of its key strategic goals.
The UAE balances oil riches with green energy drive
The United Arab Emirates is one of the world’s leading oil producers, and gets 100 percent of its electricity from burning natural gas. However, this fossil fuel-dependent country has big ambitions to become a champion of green energy. Though the goals look achievable, market realities mean oil is likely to play the dominant role in its economy.
China’s nuclear energy ambitions
China is pushing to become the leading exporter of civilian nuclear technology. Its first domestically designed reactor is a hard sell abroad due to regulatory barriers and safety concerns, and the market for nuclear power is stagnant at best. Beijing, however, can afford to offer incentives to buyers and is not discouraged easily.
Caspian oil and gas in a world of plenty
Back in the 1990s, there was a gold-rush atmosphere about the Caspian Sea, which was proclaimed as the next Alaska or North Sea in terms of its oil and gas potential. But exploitation of these riches was hobbled by territorial disputes between the littoral states Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia and Turkmenistan. Now the end of this stalemate could be in sight, but the oil and gas market has moved on.
From gas to governance: Mozambique’s slippery slope
Mozambique's dreams of gas riches moved closer to reality this month with the signing of an $8 billion LNG export project led by Italy’s Eni in cooperation with Exxon Mobil. The timing could not be better for a desperately poor country whose success story has gone sour amid a massive corruption scandal and aid cutoff. What happens next depends on whether Mozambique’s feuding parties manage not to blow this opportunity.
GIS Dossier: Mexico
Mexico’s relationship with the United States was driving change in the country long before it became the focus of President Donald Trump. The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) dramatically altered its economy, allowing it to become a key provider of manufacturing and agricultural goods to the U.S. But Mexico is also a gateway for drug trafficking to its northern neighbor, fueling corruption, organized crime and widespread violence. The latest GIS Dossier surveys the analyses and predictions from our experts on this critical Latin American country.
The risks of German unilateralism on Nord Stream 2
Russia’s Nord Stream 2 pipeline, the most controversial energy project in Europe, is putting strain on Germany’s relationship with other European Union members. Berlin’s support of the project at the expense of other partners could deepen rifts in the EU and lead to a renationalization of energy policies, especially in Central and Eastern Europe.