Oil, gas, nuclear, renewables, energy prices, electricity and climate issues. Scenarios, forecasts and analysis from Geopolitical Intelligence Services (GIS) experts on energy trends.
U.S.-Iran confrontation puts the EU in a quandary
The European Union has hoped to make Iran an important part of its energy security scheme and still backs the nuclear deal with Tehran from which the United States has withdrawn. As the world’s fifth largest and OPEC’s third-largest oil producer gropes for ways to circumvent American sanctions against its oil exports, however, the EU can only do so much to help Iran. Geopolitical and economic facts of life are making it hard for the Europeans to ignore the unilateral U.S. abrogation of the treaty.
Venezuela: How not to run an oil sector
Venezuela sits on the world’s largest oil reserves but it is not even one of the top 10 global oil producers – and output is falling sharply. Socialist, resource-nationalist policies implemented by former President Hugo Chavez – and continued by President Nicolas Maduro today – are behind the country’s poor performance. With an utter economic dependence on oil, the country has become destitute. Only a drastic change in policy can reverse Venezuela’s course.
GIS Dossier: Japan’s search for an energy strategy after Fukushima
Since the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi accident, Japan has sharply decreased its reliance on nuclear energy. Following years of deliberations weighing nuclear’s inherent risks against the expense of energy imports and climate protection obligations, the government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has decided that by 2050, about one-fifth of the country’s power will be coming from strictly regulated nuclear facilities.
Brexit’s impact on UK energy policies
Brexit will have a huge impact on the energy sectors of both the United Kingdom and the European Union. Britain’s energy system will remain deeply tied to the rest of Europe’s, but questions surround how differences in regulatory environments will be bridged. Regardless of whether Brexit is “hard” or “soft,” adding complexities to energy trade will likely mean higher costs for consumers.
Japan’s growing concern about energy security
Save for renewables, Japan is devoid of domestic energy sources. Since its nuclear power sector has been reduced to only a minor contributor in the energy mix, the country has had no choice but to increase its imports of hydrocarbons and fall back on its societal and technological strengths to tackle the energy-security challenge in the long term.
Oil and gas pins its hopes on new technologies
In our greening epoch, the challenge for the oil and gas industry is to continue delivering fuels that world economies still need while minimizing the impact of its activities on the environment and making consumption of its products more efficient. Advances in technology are making these ambitious goals possible.
GIS Dossier: How Turkey scored big in the gas pipeline game
Sitting at the intersection of important energy transfer routes, Turkey is an active participant in the high-stakes pipeline game between the European Union, Russia and the Caspian region energy producers. Ankara has increased its geopolitical heft and secured earnings from gas transit fees but at the price of making Turkey more dependent on Russia. This has important implications for Europe.
Kazakhstan: Russia’s staunchest ally wavers
Could the linchpin in Russia’s plan to reassert its control over former Soviet states be in danger of slipping away? Moscow fears it might. Kazakhstan has been making overtures to the U.S. and China, and chipping away at key cultural ties. For now, Astana cannot afford to break away from Russia’s orbit, especially in security matters, but an overreaction by the Kremlin could tip the balance.
The future of Ukraine’s energy transit status
With a key contract expiring next year, Ukraine’s role in transmitting Russian gas to Europe is uncertain. The planned Nord Stream 2 pipeline threatens to circumvent Ukraine, which has offered lowered gas transit rates to Gazprom if it scraps the new project and allows other exporters to pass through the country. Russia is uninterested in such a deal, but rising forecasts of European gas demand may mean that the Kremlin must continue to rely on Ukraine or find other options.
Opinion: The ‘military option’ in Venezuela is an illusion
The Chinese government is reportedly considering helping Venezuela’s government meet its most pressing domestic needs and start rebuilding the nation’s hydrocarbons industry. The United States, meanwhile, is hinting that it could use force to remove the increasingly brutal regime. Collective pressure on Caracas from the Latin American community, however, remains the only realistic way of resolving the crisis.