Increased electricity usage could derail EU energy targets
The digitization and electrification of the transport and heating sectors, as well as the robotics revolution in industry, have many excited about conserving energy and improving efficiency. But those hopes may be ill-placed: all those factors point toward increased electricity usage in Europe in the years to come. That could mean the EU's energy policies for the next couple of decades overly optimistic, if not entirely unrealistic.
The technological revolution in Oman’s oil and gas industry
Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) technologies, “cracking” methods for extracting oil and gas from rock formations and reasonable policies toward foreign investors have enabled the Sultanate of Oman to increase its hydrocarbons production remarkably – despite small proven reserves and difficult geology.
GIS Dossier: Failed global climate policies
Since the 1990s, the international community has been trying to keep climate change under control – with less than stellar results. Despite initiatives like the 1997 Kyoto Protocol or the 2015 Paris Agreement, global temperatures are still well on track to increase by 2 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels – the threshold scientists say could lead to dangerous climate effects. Geopolitics and market forces are mostly behind this failure – as GIS experts have been pointing out for some time. In this Dossier, we bring together the analyses that paint the picture of how we got here.
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.
Another twist in the Gazprom saga
Until recently, the EU deliberately shielded its gas business with Russia from the disruption caused by turbulent East-West politics. Now a new round of anti-Kremlin sanctions imposed by the U.S. Congress and the shale gas revolution threaten to upset the complicated energy relationship.
Argentina’s president looks for easy midterm wins
Argentina’s President Mauricio Macri is coming to terms with reality after promising a “transformational” government when he took power in early 2016. No shower of foreign investment or gas revenue has materialized, leaving him with a scaled-back philosophy of “gradualism” and fiscal austerity. Given this dour choice, Mr. Macri has focused on splitting his Peronist and Kirchnerista opponents before next month’s parliamentary elections – with a certain measure of success.
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.
The South China Sea’s energy dimension
World markets are awash in oil and gas, but that has not stopped Beijing from expanding its drilling activities in the South China Sea. Along with an increasing military presence, China's growing commercial activity helps it bolster its maritime claims in the disputed regions of the Sea, so crucial to global trade.
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?