LIBYA: CRUX OF NORTH AFRICA FOR THE LONG WAR MUST RESUME OUTPUT & AFGHANISTAN RESUMES EXPORTS VIA INDIA'S IRANIAN PORT
Libya’s El Sharara oilfield, the country’s biggest, remains closed because an armed group is still there, the chairman of state oil firm NOC said on Sunday. – Reuters
Afghanistan began exports to India through an Iranian port on Sunday, official said, as the landlocked, war-torn nation turns to overseas markets to improve its economy. – Reuters
The Gulf’s eastward turn: The logic of Gulf-China economic ties
Karen E. Young | American Enterprise Institute
Arab Gulf states are expanding their political and economic ties with China as a bridge strategy to create a next-generation energy market in traditional oil and gas products, as well as petrochemical production and future market access in expected areas of consumer growth.
WHY CAN'T MIDDLE EASTERN ECONOMIES DIVERSIFY OUT FROM OIL? AL JAZEERA EXAMINES POLITICS IN THE LAND OF ISHMAEL
Is Libya's revolution anniversary cause for celebration?
It seems Libyans have nothing to celebrate on the eighth anniversary of its revolution.
Eastern forces hand southern oil field over to Libyan state oil company
Forces loyal to eastern strongman Khalifa Hifter handed Libya’s largest oil field over to state oil guards on Tuesday in an effort to get the national oil company to restart production. The self-proclaimed Libyan National Army took control of El Sharara, which normally produces 315,000 barrels of oil per day, earlier this month. Oil production closed down in December after local tribesmen seized the field to pressure the state to make financial and other concessions. A spokesman for the Tripoli-based National Oil Company said on Tuesday the oil field will reopen once inspection and security arrangements are in place. Read More
Hifter’s forces take southern Libya’s largest oil field
Forces loyal to military strongman Khalifa Hifter captured southern Libya’s largest oil field on Wednesday without a fight. El Sharara field, which normally produces 315,000 barrels of oil per day, has been closed since December by local tribesmen demanding their salaries be paid. Hifter’s self-styled Libyan National Army (LNA) launched a military offensive last month in southern Libya to eliminate armed groups and secure oil facilities. Read More
Gadhafi-linked Libyan oil tycoon enters Washington lobbying fray
Libyan oil tycoon Hassan Tatanaki has begun lobbying in the US in an effort to get the Donald Trump administration to get behind the push for fresh elections in the war-torn country.
Why southern Libya overwhelmingly supports Hifter
Despite negative media coverage, Libya’s military strongman Gen. Khalifa Hifter’s takeover of Sabha in the south was widely welcomed by local tribes that are tired of dealing with gangs and criminals.
Eastern Libyan forces clash with tribesmen in push for southern oil fields
Forces loyal to eastern strongman Khalifa Hifter took control on Thursday of the El Feel oil field in Libya’s southwest. Earlier this month, the self-proclaimed Libyan National Army (LNA) seized the country's largest oil field, El Sharara, from striking tribesmen before handing it over to the state oil company this week. The LNA is leading an offensive in the south to secure oil fields and eliminate criminal gangs.
Meanwhile, violent clashes between Hifter's army and local tribesmen in the southern city of Murzuq continued for a second day. The LNA lost three of its soldiers when it entered the city on Wednesday, while at least 11 tribesmen have been reportedly killed. Read More
What’s yours is mine: Gulf sovereign wealth funds as a barometer of state-society relations
Karen E. Young | Project on Middle East Political Science
The moment of late-rentierism is now heightening questions of ownership and of the state’s role as guardian of society’s wealth.
TEAM TRUMP'S DIPLOMATIC COUP AGAINST IRAN VIA GERMANY: FOUNDATION FOR DEFENSE OF DEMOCRACIES COVERS A WIN
Arab states should beware of indexes bearing easy money
Karen E. Young | Bloomberg Opinion
Is new energy league an alliance against Ankara?
A Cairo-based partnership among Egypt, Israel, Cyprus, Greece, Italy, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority is ready to explore energy sources in the eastern Mediterranean — whether Turkey likes it or not.
A Primer on the Geopolitics of Oil by Anand Toprani
Saudi Arabia plans to set up a $10 billion oil refinery in Pakistan’s deepwater port of Gwadar, the Saudi energy minister said on Saturday, speaking at the Indian Ocean port that is being developed with the help of China. – Reuters
Iran turns to India to bypass US sanctions
Iran’s foreign minister said during a visit to India today that cooperation with the European Union to circumvent US sanctions is moving slower than expected. “We continue to work with the Europeans for the special purpose vehicle, but we are not waiting for them,” Mohammad Javad Zarif told reporters. “We are working with our traditional partners like India, like China, like Russia so that we continue to work in the interest of our people." Zarif hopes to drum up business with India and work out a mechanism to conduct trade without using the US dollar even as New Delhi has received a sanctions waiver from Washington to continue importing Iranian oil. Read More
On Geopolitics: Looking Back at 2018
From Stratfor Worldview: “ ... from the technological battle between the West and China to questions about the development of artificial intelligence, the militarization of space and U.S. President Donald Trump's intentions on the global scene. "
5 Big National Security Predictions for 2019
By James Holmes, The National Interest: “Winston Churchill once wisecracked that the politician’s job is to predict what will happen—then explain why it didn’t. More to the point, George Orwell mocked “the unsinkable Military Expert” who keeps venturing strong predictions about martial affairs, keeps getting forecasts wrong, and keeps drawing “fat salaries” despite repeated failures as a soothsayer. Be humble when prophesying—lest the ghosts of wars past appear before you and terrify you!”
Iran to sell 3 million barrels of oil to private buyers to sidestep US sanctions
Iran announced Wednesday that it will allow private companies to buy 3 million more barrels of oil as it seeks to sidestep sweeping US sanctions. Tehran hopes to diversify its export channels as US sanctions take aim directly at its petroleum sales. Oil Minister Bijan Zangeneh said 700,000 barrels of oil have so far been sold to private buyers since the United States reimposed sanctions in November. Read More
Jane Nakano writes: Energy has emerged as a key element in the economic agenda under the Trump administration’s Free and Open Indo-Pacific strategy, which essentially seeks to marshal a counteroffensive to China-led multi-billion-dollar energy and energy infrastructure outreach in the region. – Center for Strategic and International Studies
Iraq’s stability rests on revitalizing its energy sector and weaning itself off natural gas imports, Energy Secretary Rick Perry said Tuesday during a rare visit by a member of President Trump’s Cabinet as Washington seeks to weaken Iraq’s ties to Iran. – Washington Post
Libya’s National Oil Company (NOC) on Monday declared force majeure on exports from the El Sharara oilfield, which was seized at the weekend by a local militia group. – Reuters
Farzin Nadimi writes: On November 5, the U.S. Treasury Department published an expanded set of sanctions against Iran with the intention of bringing the country’s oil export activity—and, by extension, its oil-dependent economy—to a standstill. As with previous sanctions, Tehran is expected to push back against these measures by exploiting its geographical advantages and relations with neighboring countries, and by drawing on its long experience at running a “resilient economy.” – Washington Institute
Qatar to withdraw from OPEC
Qatar announced today that it is leaving the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to focus on its gas industry. Qatar, which joined the oil cartel in 1961, is one of the smallest oil producers but the world’s largest exporter of liquefied natural gas. “Qatar has decided to withdraw its membership form OPEC effective January 2019 and this decision was communicated to OPEC this morning,” Qatari Energy Minister Saad al-Kaabi said at a press conference. Despite the decision, Qatar will attend this week's ministerial meeting in Vienna amid calls from Saudi Arabia to cut production to stop prices from falling. Saudi Arabia, one of OPEC’s founding members, has been leading a boycott against the tiny Gulf country since June 2017. Read More
Qatar quits OPEC ahead of meeting
BY ASIA TIMES STAFF
Gulf producer says it will focus on natural gas amid tensions with Saudi Arabia
Riyadh ‘not confident’ OPEC members can agree on cuts
BY ASIA TIMES STAFF
Output reduction needed to address recent sharp drop in price of crude
The Skills Gap and the Future of Oil
Mark Mills, E21
When it comes to the future of work, we’re constantly told that automation and algorithms are destined to eliminate huge swaths of the workforce. But the reality is both more complicated and more optimistic.A major problem for the U.S. economy is a shortage of skilled workers. A recent Deloitte report estimates that there will be over 2.5 million skilled job openings unfilled in America over the coming decade. Read more here....