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.
The future of OPEC
OPEC's influence in the global oil market has greatly diminished in recent years, mainly due to the shale revolution in the United States, but also because of diverging interests among its members. It has pledged to cut production, but doing so may prove difficult. There are still some scenarios where OPEC could rise to prominence, but the most likely scenario is for it to be further marginalized.
Iraq: OPEC’s wild card
Though OPEC agreed to reduce production at its September meeting, Iraq is resisting, arguing that the data used to determine the cuts is wrong and that it must continue producing to keep its economy afloat. If Iraq wins an exemption, other countries could follow, forcing OPEC to try for a bigger reduction. That will only happen if Saudi Arabia agrees to take on the lion's share of the cuts.
OPEC and the scope for meaningful intervention
OPEC’s informal gathering in Algiers on September 28 has sent a signal to the international community that the organization can still act coherently. For the first time since 2008, OPEC announced a coordinated production cut. Market forces are at work to limit the impact of this intervention, however, even if it is successfully implemented. .