GIS Dossier: Iran’s rise
Iran has methodically built up its influence in the Middle East to become one of the most important powers in the region. It has a growing foothold in Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Qatar. Its rise has inflamed tensions with Saudi Arabia, while a nascent rapprochement with the U.S. has withered under President Donald Trump. It is stepping up military interventions abroad, but remains deeply divided at home. This edition of our Dossier series reviews how Iran got here and our experts’ predictions about what this means for the region and the world.
Too much oil?
Oil prices were supposed to stabilize in 2017, but instead they dropped by about 20 percent. The reason appears to be more technological progress in the shale industry and the ineffectiveness of OPEC’s production cuts. In response, the oil cartel may decide to reverse its strategy and punish high-cost competitors by increasing supply – sending prices even lower.
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.
Russia’s growing economic ties with the Middle East
While Russia’s military activity in the Middle East has caught headlines, its economic footprint in the region is increasing as well. Much of the cooperation is occurring in the energy sector, but Moscow is not interested in the region’s natural resources. Instead, it is working on establishing a long-term foothold.
GIS Dossier: The impact of oil and gas
Few commodities come close to having the same influence on geopolitics as oil and gas. Recently, low oil prices have put strain on OPEC while shale technology has reshaped energy markets. Both factors have put global climate policies in question. What are the trends to watch in this crucial sector?
Angola: leadership change and the risks ahead
It is now certain that Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos will not run in this year’s elections. The transition of power will offer the country a chance to begin to reform kleptocratic state institutions and address huge social and economic crises. The question is how much support dos Santos and his supporters will give the new regime.
Shale energy shows the power of markets
The cutting edge of energy is often seen in the government-subsidized renewables sector, especially solar and wind power. But if you want to know the truly disruptive, market-rattling technology of our era, look no further than shale oil and gas.
Global Outlook 2017: Russia checklist
Russia enters 2017 with a sense of vague disquiet. With presidential elections a year away, not everyone is sure the “main candidate” will be Vladimir Putin. Concern is palpable inside the government and the security apparatus, as interest groups jockey for position.
Global Outlook 2017: The Middle East
The dangerous military situation in the Eastern Mediterranean opens a list of troubling scenarios in the Middle East. Just as grave is the possibility of turmoil in Egypt, which could launch a migrant wave of millions into Europe. Daesh's impending military defeat will pose challenges as the movement disperses and infiltrates Europe. Saudi-Iranian relations will remain tense, and the new U.S. administration's effort to revive an alliance with Sunni Gulf states could be derailed by its pledge to build an embassy in Jerusalem.