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AssessmentsApr 9, 2020 | 10:00 GMT
The walls surrounding the Kremlin are reflected on a plaque at the entrance of the oil company Rosneft's headquarters in Moscow. 
Russia Loosens the Reins on Rosneft
The Russian government no longer has a majority stake in Rosneft for the first time in the energy giant’s 27-year history. On March 28, Rosneft announced that it had sold all of its assets in Venezuela as part of a deal with the wholly government-owned company, Rosneftegaz. The sale is designed to shield the company’s Venezuelan operations from further U.S. sanctions, while still allowing Moscow to continue its support of the disputed rule of President Nicolas Maduro. But by continuing Rosneft's slow and steady shift toward privatization, the passing of this threshold could also open the company up to a more market-driven and prosperous future. 
AssessmentsFeb 11, 2020 | 10:30 GMT
Employees of PetroChina Southwest Oil & Gasfield Co., a CNPC subsidiary, work at a natural gas purification plant in Suining in southwest China's Sichuan province on Jan. 15, 2020.
In Response to Coronavirus, Russia Will Back Only Modest Action by OPEC+
It is now clear that the impact of the new coronavirus on the world oil market will be substantial, but much uncertainty remains about the total impact on demand in 2020. The most probable scenario is a "sharp but short" hit to demand, but a wider spread could deepen and lengthen the impact. OPEC and other producers will attempt to at least partially mitigate the impact on oil prices, but Russia will likely insist on a cautious approach that does not last long.
SnapshotsMar 21, 2018 | 19:32 GMT
UAE: How a New Oil Deal Diversifies Emirati Energy Ties
The United Arab Emirates' state-owned oil company is continuing to sign a string of major oil deals. Abu Dhabi's National Oil Company (ADNOC) has signed yet another deal to split up its offshore concessions. On March 21 ADNOC signed a deal with China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) granting the company a 10 percent stake in the Umm Shaif, Nasr and Lower Zakum concessions for the next 40 years in exchange for $1.175 billion. Through this and other deals, Abu Dhabi continues to shake up the landscape of its upstream energy sector as it strategically re-prioritizes long-term deals that are geared toward Asian consumers.
AssessmentsFeb 22, 2018 | 09:30 GMT
Liquefied natural gas flows through an underwater pipeline to Israeli power plants.
The Eastern Mediterranean's New Great Game Over Natural Gas
For the energy industry today, few other places present such a complicated chessboard. The eastern Mediterranean has elicited more and more interest from major international oil companies, particularly in the wake of a series of discoveries crowned by the giant Zohr natural gas field off Egypt in 2015. Thanks to the sea's myriad riches, BP, Eni, ExxonMobil and Total have all descended upon the area, yet it has been less than plain sailing. In the past month, Italian oil and gas company Eni has found itself embroiled in two major political disputes -- one between Israel and Lebanon and another between Cyprus and Turkey -- over its activities in the region. With every country intent on using their resources for their own ends, the political challenges facing energy companies are part of the region's underlying complexity and challenges, all of which will likely stymie the development of much of the
AssessmentsFeb 16, 2018 | 09:00 GMT
Wind turbines spin alongside the Drax power station, the biggest coal-fired plant in Europe.
In the Energy Sector, a New Kind of Hybrid Emerges
The global transition away from fossil fuels and toward more sustainable energy sources is well underway. Though the rise of green technologies such as solar panels or electric vehicles may seem to bode ill for the international oil industry, many oil companies are trying to change with the times. Royal Dutch/Shell, for example, spent $217 million in January to buy a 43.8 percent stake in Silicon Ranch, a U.S.-based solar developer. Rather than competing against low-carbon technologies, fossil fuel companies are increasingly working to incorporate them, setting the stage for a new class of hybrid firms to emerge in the global energy industry.
AssessmentsFeb 2, 2018 | 00:14 GMT
Major international oil companies know that the next Mexican president will be limited in any energy reform rollback.
Big Oil Sees Untapped Potential in Mexico
Despite the looming possibility of a populist presidential candidate winning the high office in Mexico, "Big Oil" is betting on the longevity of energy reform in the country. Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who currently leads the presidential election polls, is promising to reverse aspects of the country's energy reforms. But from the perspective of the major international oil companies, a Lopez Obrador presidency would be little more than than a six-year nuisance, because he lacks the ability to rewrite the legal fundamentals in a way to last beyond his term.
ReflectionsJan 23, 2018 | 21:39 GMT
Security guards stand outside at the ski resort in Davos, Switzerland, where government and corporate leaders assemble each year for the World Economic Forum.
At Davos, Geopolitics and Business Dance a Winding Waltz
It's that other time of year again. The time when the world’s business and political elites gather at an Alpine resort in Davos, Switzerland, to compare notes on the challenges they face. The top risks under discussion this year, released in advance by the World Economic Forum, are cybersecurity and "a deterioration in the geopolitical situation." The first of these two risks, cybersecurity, represents merely the latest in a long line of threats that have emerged from technological development as states and private actors jockey for an edge over one another. But the second risk, geopolitical deterioration, has not been much of a focal point for several decades. And because geopolitics is the platform on which many other things rest, its deterioration is a threat that affects not only Davos attendees, but also the entire global population.
Contributor PerspectivesNov 23, 2017 | 14:10 GMT
Travelers move through a security line at Denver International Airport the day before Thanksgiving. But remarkably, many Americans insist that they have little to be thankful for.
What We Have to Give Thanks For
Each year, everywhere from the Arctic Circle to the tropics, Americans gather to give thanks for all the good things in their lives, braving congested highways and overbooked aircraft to be with their loved ones for the festival of Thanksgiving. In this column, we consider all the things we have to be thankful for.
SnapshotsOct 18, 2017 | 22:49 GMT
Iraq: Operations in Kirkuk Come to an End
Military operations may be over in Kurdish-held Kirkuk, but the political battle is about to begin. Iraq's Joint Operation Command announced on Oct. 17 that is it has achieved its objective in retaking territory previously controlled by the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG). Beginning its operation overnight Oct. 15., the Iraqi military seized control of critical infrastructure in Kirkuk province. Iraqi troops are now in control of important oil and natural gas company headquarters, oil fields and have reportedly taken control of the Mosul Dam. Speaking at his weekly press conference, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi denied reports that Baghdad was seeking to create new regions in Kurdish territories. (Such a move would violate the Iraqi constitution, which grants significant autonomy to Iraqi Kurdistan.)
Contributor PerspectivesOct 11, 2017 | 09:30 GMT
Thanks to personalization, marketers and customers can find each other more easily.
Fake News in the Age of Facebook
Thanks to personalization, marketers and customers can find each other more easily. But what is good for the marketplace and the consumer is not necessarily good for the polity and its citizens.
AssessmentsSep 28, 2017 | 17:39 GMT
Over the past year Brazilian President Michel Temer and his administration have been moving to cut restrictions on oil and gas production.
South America and the Energy Merry-Go-Round
The winds of political and economic change are blowing through Argentina and Brazil, and Bolivia may be forced to take cover. Large natural gas shale reserves in Argentina and oil fields in Brazil will become more attractive to foreign and domestic energy investors because of regulatory changes currently underway. Both countries are moving to increase their hydrocarbon production, and their efforts stand to make them less dependent on Bolivia's natural gas in the next five years. The shift will force Bolivia to normalize its long-strained relations with Chile, which has the Pacific ports it needs to exports its gas beyond Brazil and Argentina.
AssessmentsJul 24, 2017 | 11:54 GMT
The bitter rivalry between Chile and Bolivia has prevented movement on negotiations that would open up Bolivian exports through Chilean ports
Old Rivalries Still Simmer Between Bolivia and Chile
For centuries, relations between Bolivia and Chile have been marked by their dispute over territory. Bolivia's defeat by Chile in the War of the Pacific (1879-83) left the country landlocked, and resentment between the two countries has only grown since then. But there have been moments when tensions have ebbed. One came in the early 2000s, when a 13-point bilateral negotiation agenda was drawn up. It called for giving Bolivia sovereign access to a Chilean port to export natural gas to markets outside South America and for the construction of a railway connecting both countries. But the negotiations hit a snag in 2013 when Bolivia decided to take a territorial claim against Chile to the International Court of Justice, and the talks were put on hold.
Partner PerspectivesJul 24, 2017 | 09:44 GMT
Oil companies from Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and Italy have teamed up to form a consortium for the exploration and exploitation of what is expected to be a new “giant” located in the heart of the northern Caspian tectonic structure.
Kazakhstan and Eurasia Form New Oil Consortium in a Multi-Billion Caspian Project
Oil companies from Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and Italy have teamed up to form a consortium for the exploration and exploitation of what is expected to be a new “giant” located in the heart of the northern Caspian tectonic structure. The project, if successful and if market demand remains unchanged, should prolong Kazakhstan's position as a global oil supplier from 2040 to 2080.
Partner PerspectivesJun 6, 2017 | 13:39 GMT
Caspian Sea Dispute: Where Solutions Jump Ahead of Problems
A fair division of the Caspian seabed including exploitation rights has been subject to debate for a quarter of a century now. Time and again, the governments of littoral states — Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, and Russia — have assured the world that they are on the brink of clinching a comprehensive agreement.
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