Oil, gas, nuclear, renewables, energy prices, electricity and climate issues. Scenarios, forecasts and analysis from Geopolitical Intelligence Services (GIS) experts on energy trends.
The growing importance of raw material supplies
As new technologies grow in popularity, rare earths and other critical raw materials like lithium and cobalt are becoming crucial to the global economy. But their production is often concentrated in one or two countries, raising the risk that supply could be cut off suddenly. Perhaps most worrisome, China has a stranglehold on many of these materials and their supply chains.
Greater Eurasia – a Kremlin pipe dream
The Kremlin’s vision for a “Greater Eurasia” partnership with China is often held up as Russia’s most important geostrategic priority. According to this concept, the two countries would control a powerful bloc of non-Western states to challenge American hegemony. However, the two have vastly different goals, and it is becoming clearer that China would become the dominant member of the initiative.
Global competition for upstream oil and gas investment
The international energy community is usually divided on oil prices, since consumers like prices low and producers prefer them high. But one thing everyone agrees on is that the current environment of low oil prices is not encouraging investment, which could trigger an energy crisis down the road. This reasoning is logical, but overly simplistic.
India’s growing influence in the Middle East
India has recently elevated its relationships with the United Arab Emirates, Israel and Iran, increasing its influence in the Middle East. But New Delhi has always preferred keeping the explosive region at arm’s length by dealing with only a few bilateral relationships. The Middle East’s shifting dynamics may make that strategy very difficult to maintain.
GIS Dossier: The Western Balkans
Of all Europe’s trouble spots, the Western Balkans have a solid claim to being the most troublesome. One hundred years after the end of World War I, the region is finally stable and – save for a violent flare-up or two – peaceful. But plenty of tensions remain, corruption runs rampant and the rule of law is unevenly applied. With all these potential stumbling blocks, the region’s road toward prosperity remains bumpy. This Dossier reviews GIS reports on this region, so critical to Europe’s lasting peace.
Latin America’s renewable energy challenge
Prices for renewable energy are dropping in Latin America, making decarbonization – once a far-fetched notion – a very real possibility. The question is whether the political will is there. Many of the country's grids are in bad shape and unprepared to handle the change, while legislation, sometimes intended to help renewables, has ended up throwing obstacles in the way. Can countries in the region implement the necessary reforms?
Increasing oil competition in Asia
The first supertanker bearing U.S. crude oil to Asia after a 40-year export embargo was liftd left the Gulf Coast of Louisiana in February 2018. The event was hailed as the start of a new oil trading era, and possibly the start of a war for market share in Asia between U.S. shale producers and conventional exporters from the Middle East. In fact, of all oil exporters to Asia, the Middle Eastern producers should be the least concerned.
GIS Dossier: The South China Sea
The South China Sea is critical for global trade and security. Beijing’s moves to extend its influence throughout the sea have heightened tensions, risking conflict with neighbors and the United States. China’s global position, economic power and energy riches are all at stake. This survey presents GIS experts’ analyses and predictions for this crucial body of water.
The Caspian Sea basin: lessons from recent major investments
The Caspian region has bucked a global trend of low oil and gas investment because it offers good business conditions and developed infrastructure. As these investments increase production from the region, new opportunities could emerge for both China and Europe to shore up their energy security. But this development could also lead to more confrontation between Russia and the United States.
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.