Archive by Author

What’s in a name? Special upstream edition

30 Oct

What do dead cows, Native American warriors and Snow White have in common? At first glance, not much. Yet these are just some of the many random names given to oil and gas fields.

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The Great End-Game with Iran: Historical reflexes versus fundamentals

2 Oct

If a Martian landed on Earth, it would be greatly surprised that the US is an ally of Saudi Arabia and an enemy of Iran. History is the explanation, but fundamentals have a tendency to reassert themselves in the long run…

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Syria’s globalized civil war

4 Jul

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Every country has a stake in the conflict one way or another. But that won’t stop the bitter war of attrition from grinding on. 

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Happy Nationalization Day!

20 Mar

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Today is Oil Nationalization Day, a public holiday. In Iran. Every country has some strange holidays – Egyptians, for example, celebrate National Police Day.  […]

US gas flaring is visible from space

28 Jan

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Due to the unconventional oil and (shale) gas boom in the US, gas flaring in North Dakota and Texas is visible from outer space. In fact, the amount of gas flared would be enough to simultaneously power the cities of Chicago and Washington… Although environmentalists’ concerns are growing increasingly vocal, the rise of shale gas production has actually contributed to a decrease in US CO2 emissions overall.

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Iran: Saber-rattling and strait-talking

11 Dec

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You may end up doing strange things when you feel cornered. Iran, for example, is even allegedly considering creating a huge oil spill, which would block the Strait of Hormuz and force the West to temporarily suspend sanctions during the clean-up. Let’s hope things don’t go so far: below we summarize possible scenarios for Iran.  […]

Oil can(’t) buy me love?

30 Oct

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Thanks to their high per capita oil revenues, certain Middle Eastern countries were able to evade the Arab Spring through higher social spending – so far, that is. But with both break-even oil prices and geopolitical tensions on the rise, simply buying the silence of their citizens with generous hand-outs won’t work on the long run. The same holds true for Russia, where the petrodollar buffer will run out over the next 3-4 years.

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