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 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.
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.
Rising U.S. LNG exports could lead to European gas price war
The glut of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in the global market is growing as exports from the United States increase and demand from Asia wanes. These trends are fueling competition in regional gas markets, and none is as hotly contested as Europe. The geopolitical implications of such trends could be far-reaching.
Politics and oil bring uncertainty to Uganda’s future
After three decades in power, President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda won a fifth consecutive term in February 2016. Uganda has seen significant development under his rule, but the irregularities that accompanied his election have added fuel to political tensions. Whether Ugandan politics follows a path of stability or instability may also depend on the fate of the cou...
Argentina weighs up energy price adjustment
Argentine President Mauricio Macri must cope with an energy sector in dire straits. Policy over the past decade has been inconsistent and often counterproductive. Subsidies weigh heavily on public finances. However, reforming the hydrocarbon extraction and refining industries should prove far easier politically than solving the country’s challenges in electricity p...
Political split could put Mozambique’s gas boom on hold
Even with the collapse of energy prices, Mozambique’s economy appears poised for explosive growth thanks to discoveries of huge offshore natural gas fields. President Filipe Nyusi’s government has committed to much-needed economic and financial reforms. Yet cracks in Mozambique’s political system, especially the failure to incorporate the opposition Renamo party, c...
China's big win over 'historic' gas deal with Russia
China, the world’s top energy user, has walked away with a big win. A historic US$400 billion natural gas deal between China and Russia opens up a new market for Moscow as it courts partners in Asia while those in the West seek to isolate it. But Beijing holds the trump card on price. It will also fall to Russia to pay for infrastructure - all of which raises suspi...
Japan’s LNG dilemma and energy supply challenges
Energy supply security has always been a major concern for Japanese governments. The decision to close all its nuclear power plants following the 2011 Fukushima nuclear accident has imposed huge costs on Japan's economy. Now the government plans to restart its nuclear generation, using more coal-fired power plants, creating a gas-to-gas and a spot-LNG market, as we...