GIS Dossier: Trumponomics
Eighteen months into his presidency, Donald Trump has already implemented several major economic initiatives, including big tax cuts and rewriting American trade policy. Neither the disaster foreseen by his critics nor the miracle envisioned by his supporters has materialized. Instead, there has been a mix of positives and negatives for the U.S. economy, just as GIS experts had predicted since the election. This GIS Dossier reviews the unexpected consequences of “Trumponomics” and the impact it is likely to have in the future.
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.
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.
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.
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 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?