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SnapshotsMar 20, 2020 | 21:01 GMT
Despite Falling Oil Prices, U.S. Production Cuts Remain Unlikely
In response to collapsing global oil prices, there are signs that U.S. President Donald Trump -- and now, the agency overseeing Texas' massive energy industry -- is mulling a potential production cut deal with Russia and Saudi Arabia. But doing so would mean overcoming political hurdles in the United States, divisions over proposed production cuts in the U.S. oil industry, and the challenges associated with negotiating an agreement between the world’s largest oil producers. 
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AssessmentsNov 18, 2019 | 10:00 GMT
Color satellite image of the Niger Delta region in Nigeria. The city of Lagos, the second-most populous city in Africa, can be seen west of the river on the Atlantic coast.
Nigeria's Risky New Oil Revenue Plan
Life just got harder for major oil companies operating off the coast of Nigeria. On Nov. 4, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari signed a law updating the terms of the country’s production-sharing contracts that, among other changes, increase royalties on international oil firms. As Africa's top crude producer, Nigeria is almost entirely financially dependent on its petroleum operations, which account for 90 percent of government revenue. The current oil glut has thus hurt Nigeria's pocketbooks particularly hard, forcing it to consider drastic measures to squeeze out more money from its growing offshore operations. But by placing international companies in its crosshairs, Nigeria instead risks driving away the crucial deep-water investments in needs to keep its lights on.
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SnapshotsAug 6, 2019 | 20:30 GMT
Venezuela: The White House Broadens the Target Set for Sanctions
The United States, with national security adviser John Bolton, the principal architect of the White House’s strategy to force the Venezuelan president to step down, leading the charge, is doubling down on an economic coercion campaign with the intent of either compelling Nicolas Maduro to accept an exit deal to pave the way for an election or improve the conditions for a coup. The biggest question moving forward is how far the U.S. Treasury Department can and will go in enforcing a more expansive sanctions strategy against Venezuela. The countries foremost on the U.S. radar for their economic involvement with Venezuela include Russia, China, Cuba, Iran, Turkey and India.
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AssessmentsNov 20, 2018 | 09:00 GMT
A Colombian rescue crew evacuates a "victim" in a Brazilian air force helicopter during an earthquake simulation exercise conducted by air force members at the Palenquero base in Puerto Salgar, Colombia, on Sept. 6, 2018.
Caracas' Push for Illegal Mining Is Creating Problems for Its Neighbors
Venezuela's desperate attempts to offset the loss of revenue from its collapsing oil sector are creating headaches for its neighbors. During the past two years, the government has put in motion a survival strategy to replace its declining hydrocarbon income with proceeds from mining exports, often from illegal excavations operated by criminal and militant groups. But these illicit operations are spreading over the poorly patrolled borders into western Guyana and potentially into northern Brazil, meaning Caracas' game plan could soon come into direct conflict with the interests of those two countries.
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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.
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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.
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ReflectionsJan 17, 2018 | 19:38 GMT
Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev (left) meets with U.S. President Donald Trump during a visit to the White House on Jan. 16.
The More Things Change, the More Kazakhstan Stays Important
Now that relations between the United States and Pakistan are souring, Washington may once again turn to Kazakhstan to serve its strategic needs in the region. Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev discussed the issue with U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday during a visit to the White House, an early stop on a three-day tour of the United States. (The trip will also include a visit to U.N. headquarters in New York, since Kazakhstan assumes the rotating U.N. Security Council presidency this year.) But even if Kazakhstan's prominence on the international stage remains the same, plenty of change awaits the country and its longtime leader on the domestic front.
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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.
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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.
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