Benjamin Zycher | The Hill
Karen Young in an Al-Monitor op-ed. America’s energy independence attracts competitors, such as Saudi Aramco, as foreign direct investors. And it is unlikely that the American “freedom gas” exported by Aramco will find its way to Saudi Arabia. Find out why here.
Protectionism, the dollar, and US energy ‘dominance’
Benjamin Zycher | The Hill
The shale revolution isn't just about cheap energy; it's changing geopolitics
Mark J. Perry | Washington Examiner
Want an Energy Revolution? It Won't Come from Renewables
Mark Mills, City Journal
Throughout history, some 60 percent to 90 percent of every nation’s economy has been consumed by food and fuel costs. Hydrocarbons changed the way that humans organize their productive capacity. The coal age, followed by the oil age, and now by the ascendant age of natural gas, has (at least for developed nations) driven the share of GDP devoted to acquiring food and fuel down to around 10 percent. That transformation constitutes one of the great pivots for civilization.
Read more here....
Reports: Iran to adopt countermeasures as US revokes sanctions waivers
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani will reportedly announce countermeasures to the US exit from the JCPOA and its reimposition of sanctions.
Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest oil exporter, cut June pricing for all crude grades to the U.S. and raised most pricing to other regions. The kingdom’s pricing appears to be aimed at easing concerns over supplies to the U.S. after the Trump Administration ended waivers for buyers of Iranian oil, while still benefiting from rising demand for its crude in Asia and Europe. – Bloomberg
Iran Gives Europe Sixty Days to Meet Nuclear Demands
by Seth Frantzman
The Jerusalem Post
May 9, 2019
New Sanctions Hit Iran’s Multi-Billion Dollar Metal Industries
Saeed Ghasseminejad | Senior Iran and Financial Economics AdvisorMatthew Zweig | Senior Fellow
Energy Sector Waivers Would Undermine the Maximum Pressure Campaign against Iran
Matthew Zweig | Senior Fellow
Nigeria and the US: A tale of two energy economies
Benjamin Zycher | RealClearMarkets
THE SANCTIONS REGIME MOVES ON, IRANIAN STAGFLATION CONTINUES TO RAVAGE & NUCLEAR OPTION AGAINST IRAN
The most important issue for predicting whether the US’s upped-economic pressure campaign on Iran will work is probably knowing whether the US and China are about to strike a major deal ending their trade war.If they cut a deal in the coming weeks, the US’ removal of waivers for sanctions against countries who buy Iranian oil could really bring the Islamic Republic’s oil experts to close to zero and force Tehran to cut a new deal. – Jerusalem Post
Forget oil sanctions, end of nuclear cooperation waivers could quietly kill Iran deal
(Al-Monitor) In Arak, a waiver is necessary to enable Iran to redesign its heavy water research reactor in order to “support peaceful nuclear research and radioisotope production for medical and industrial purposes.” The proposed redesigned Arak reactor would vastly cut the potential for a plutonium path to the bomb.
How incompetence, sanctions jointly hit Iran’s economy
Facing stagflation, the Iranian authorities must shift course and de-politicize economic decisions such as foreign exchange policy and management of the country's money supply.
In the 40 years of Iran’s Islamic Republic, 2019 is shaping up to be among the worst for an economy that’s weathered wars, sanctions and oil slumps. Even before the U.S. decided to tighten oil sanctions against Iran last week, the rial currency had lost two thirds of its value against the dollar, and the International Monetary Fund expected gross domestic product to shrink 6 percent. – Bloomberg
Tighter U.S. sanctions against Iran could fuel inflation to the highest level since 1980, according to the International Monetary Fund, as the Islamic Republic’s economy grapples with a weakening currency and tighter U.S. sanctions on oil exports. – Bloomberg
Karim Sadjadpour writes: If Khamenei believes he can’t do a deal with Trump, and he fears that waiting out Trump projects weakness, he may contemplate restarting Iran’s nuclear program, counter-escalating against U.S. interests and allies in the Middle East, or both. Iran is the only country in the world simultaneously fighting three proxy wars—against the United States, Israel, and Saudi Arabia—each of which it could further agitate. – The Atlantic
If President Donald Trump succeeds in cutting Iran’s oil exports to almost nothing, one of the main beneficiaries is likely to be Russia. The economic blow to Iran will ease the Kremlin’s efforts to rein in Iranian influence in Syria, bolstering President Vladimir Putin’s efforts to project Russian power across the Middle East. Tehran and Moscow were one-time collaborators in the region, but they’ve found themselves increasingly at odds as Syria’s eight-year-old civil war winds down. – Bloomberg
RUSSIA NORD-STREAM 2 ENCIRCLES & DIVIDES NATO WHILE TEAM TRUMP BRINGS RELIEF TO NATIONS TRADING OIL WITH IRAN
U.S. Aims Lethal Blow at Tehran’s Finances by Prohibiting Oil Exports
David Adesnik | Director of Research
Russia’s Gas Web Ensnares Europe
New pipeline projects throughout the Middle East could boost Russian influence there while also ensuring the country’s role as the prime supplier of energy to Europe.
US expected to announce end to Iran oil import waivers
The Donald Trump administration is expected to announce today that it is ending waivers for imports of Iranian oil as of May 2 in the latest escalation of its “maximum pressure” campaign against Tehran. The State Department in November issued 180-day waivers to give eight countries a short time window to end their imports. Greece, Italy, and Taiwan have since done so, while China, India, Turkey, Japan and South Korea now must follow suit or face US sanctions. A few of the buyers will be granted short wind-down periods but will not receive further waivers as the United States seeks to reduce Iran's oil exports to zero. Read More
Tightening the screws on Iran. And . . . ?
Danielle Pletka | AEIdeas
Sanctions aren’t a goal; they’re tools to get to something else. And it’s high time the president was frank with us about what that something else really is.
US cuts Iran oil waivers in move to force Tehran out of nuclear deal
Washington is letting sanctions waivers for countries that import Iranian oil expire as it tries to make Iran quit the 2015 nuclear deal before a UN arms embargo is lifted next year as part of the agreement.
A New EastMed Friendship, with US Support
By Dr. George N. Tzogopoulos, April 10, 2019
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: The prospective EastMed pipeline would be the flagship project of the Cypriot-Greek-Israeli collaboration, a developing friendship that enjoys deep foundations. The US has now made its support for that partnership official.
Continue to full article ->
The Eastern Mediterranean and the EU Parliamentary Election
By Dr. Spyridon N. Litsas, May 3, 2019
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: The states of the Eastern Mediterranean should pay close attention to the upcoming European parliamentary election, as its outcome will influence geostrategic and economic developments in that region. Israel, Cyprus, and Greece will have a major role to play in strengthening Western relationships in the region for decades to come.
Continue to full article ->
U.S. and Oman Sign Strategic Port AgreementNicole Salter | Project Manager
Behnam Ben Taleblu | Senior Fellow
Renewables Get the Press, But Natural Gas Is Growing Faster
Robert Bryce, National Review
Why Iran is silent about US military deal with neighboring Oman
Iran has demonstrated no sign of outrage at a recent US-Omani military deal as the American Indo-Pacific Strategy seems not to clash with Iran's interests in the region.
Nikos Tsafos writes: Every move that Russia makes to develop energy resources in the Arctic is seen as further proof for an unsettling proposition: unlike the United States, Russia takes a strategic view toward Arctic energy; it spends serious money to develop the region’s resources; and it is using the Arctic to boost ties with China and, more recently, Saudi Arabia. There is truth in that worldview, but it also leaves much out. – Center for Strategic and International Studies
On March 11, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo accused the Russian oil giant Rosneft of defying US sanctions by purchasing oil from the Venezuelan state-owned oil PDVSA, which has been sanctioned since January. Pomepo said: […]the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated: “The threats coming from the US Secretary of State against the Rosneft company over its cooperation with Venezuela are senseless. It has been hit by sanctions since 2014, but continues successfully working. Meanwhile, its former US partners, whom Washington had forced to curtail cooperation, suffered serious damage.” – Middle East Media Research Institute
Fuel Shortage Persists in Syria amidst Tougher Sanctions Enforcement
David Adesnik | Director of Research
VICTOR DAVIS HANSEN ON BRINGING BAKU INTO THE E.U.; THE NAGORNO CONFLICT; HERE'S WHY BAKU (A NET EXPORTER OF OIL) ON THE CASPIAN SEA MATTERS
India wants to keep buying Iranian oil at its current level of about 300,000 barrels per day (bpd), as it negotiates with the Washington about extending a sanctions waiver past early May, two sources in India with knowledge of the matter said. – Reuters
Iran hopes to have its part of a new payments vehicle — devised to allow it to trade with EU firms despite US sanctions — — ready within a fortnight, Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi said Wednesday. – Agence France-Presse
Israel‘s navy could take action against Iranian oil smuggling, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Wednesday, urging world powers to foil any effort by Tehran to evade US sanctions. – Reuters
Hanin Ghaddar writes: Despite Hezbollah’s repeated claims that foreign sanctions would not affect its capabilities, evidence suggests that the group is facing a serious financial crisis. Its leaders have already implemented harsh new austerity measures, and sources close to the group believe these efforts will become more severe over time. […]Although Iran has not stopped sending money to Hezbollah so far, the group realizes that continued sanctions and/or altered regional circumstances may require it to seek alternative sources of funding down the road. – Washington Institute
Pakistan’s military is taking a key role in the development of one of the world’s biggest untapped copper and gold deposits, which is currently stalled by a multi-billion dollar legal wrangle with foreign mining firms, multiple sources familiar with the situation said. – Reuters
Asad Hashim writes: The question is one that strikes at the heart of how power is distributed in Pakistan; of whether an elected civilian leader can exert control over the country’s powerful military; of whether Pakistan is truly willing to give up support for armed groups that it has used as proxies for decades; and of whether the country—which has long frustrated successive U.S. governments, likely none more so than Donald Trump’s administration—is truly changing its foreign-policy and security stances beyond a focus on neighboring India. – The Atlantic
Arzan Tarapore writes: The India-Pakistan crisis seems to have peaked. The two sides continue to trade intermittent small-arms and artillery fire across the Line of Control that divides Kashmir. India has shown itself to be more and more militarily aggressive after the 2016 and 2019 responses. Unlike the deniable 2016 raid, India’s 2019 strike at Balakot compelled Pakistan to retaliate. But an India with few other viable options for deterrence, increasingly enamored by military swashbuckling and encouraged by the United States, may become seduced by competitive risk-taking. – War on the Rocks
IRAN'S PORT OF CHABAHAR OPENS INDIAN FOREIGN POLICY TOWARD REFORMING AFGHANISTAN: STRATEGY, OIL AND GOODS
Chabahar Port Deal Threatens to Capsize Iran Sanctions
Varsha Koduvayur | Senior Research AnalystAndrew Gabel | Research Analyst
Libya’s largest oil field to resume operations
Libya’s National Oil Corporation (NOC) announced on Monday that it is reopening its largest oil field. Forces loyal to the eastern Libyan government and to military strongman Gen. Khalifa Hifter took control of the El Sharara field last month. Hifter’s offensive came after local tribesmen seized the field demanding their salaries from the Tripoli-backed NOC. Tripoli said its decision to reopen El Sharara came after it received assurances from Hifter’s forces that all armed groups had left the field. El Sharara normally produces 315,000 barrels of oil per day. Read More
Tobruk parliamentarian explains south Libya's support for Hifter
In an interview with Al-Monitor, a member of the Tobruk-based parliament talks about Gen. Khalifa Hifter’s operation to cleanse the south from armed gangs and secure oil fields.
Based in the east of Libya, Khalifa Haftar has made no secret of his ambition to capture Tripoli, the northwestern seat of the internationally-recognized government. His threats were long dismissed as bombast, but a lightening advance through the south this year has put Haftar in control of most oil resources and could embolden him to make his much-vaunted final push. – Bloomberg
Southwest Asian political economy analyst, Radio & Media Personality.