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AssessmentsJul 20, 2020 | 10:00 GMT
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador speaks during a press conference in Mexico City, Mexico, after announcing his plan to "rescue" Mexican oil company Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex) on Feb. 8, 2019.
Lopez Obrador's Policy Shifts Will Have a Mixed Impact on Mexico’s Energy Projects
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador's reversal of certain energy policies will likely continue to have a modest impact on foreign investment and competition in Mexico's oil and gas sector. While intended to make Mexico's overall energy industry more self-reliant and state-centric, Lopez Obrador's policy shifts ultimately risk further crippling the country's state-owned oil firm Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex), while delaying its electricity sector's shift to renewable energy sources. 
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SnapshotsJun 12, 2020 | 10:00 GMT
Postelection Turmoil Could Jeopardize Guyana's Oil Windfall
Guyana's postelection political battle could delay approvals for the government's pending oil and gas projects, should it morph into a prolonged crisis and deepen rifts between the country's two ethnic groups. Guyana is no stranger to elections marred by fraud allegations. But with the small South American country set to become the world's largest per capita oil producer in the coming years, the outcome of its latest contested ballot will decide which party will benefit from the initial windfall of new income -- and with it, the opportunity to cement a long-term electoral advantage.
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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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AssessmentsFeb 28, 2020 | 10:00 GMT
This photo shows the Guyanese flag.
The High Stakes of Guyana's Elections
Rarely do a country's elections matter as much for its future political balance of power as the March 2 ballot will for Guyana. The national balloting comes just 11 days after Guyana exported its first cargo of oil abroad, marking the beginning of a significant economic windfall to come as the country becomes the world's latest to join the oil production club. In the coming years, an oil boom will make Guyana one of the wealthiest countries in South America. The winner of the national elections will then have the chance to cement its political legacy through the kinds of economic patronage that come with increased wealth for the government.
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AssessmentsDec 4, 2019 | 11:00 GMT
This photo shows a sign for Saudi Aramco's initial public offering during a news conference in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, on Nov. 3, 2019.
The Saudi Aramco IPO Will Hit Its Valuation Goal but Fail to Fund Vision 2030
As the Saudi Aramco initial public offering (IPO) culminates this week with the final pricing announcement on Dec. 5, some observers will tout it as a success for having reached the notional valuation range of $1.6 trillion to $1.7 trillion for the company set on Nov. 17 in the prospectus. In domestic Saudi political terms, the IPO will be seen as a major achievement for Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and his Vision 2030 campaign. In reality, though, it will fail on two more important metrics. It will not bring in a substantial amount of foreign money to invest in the economic diversification projects envisioned under Vision 2030, other than $1.5 billion from Abu Dhabi. It also has not played out in accordance with the expectations of transparency and sound management laid out when the crown prince announced the idea more than three years ago in his landmark interview with
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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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AssessmentsOct 2, 2019 | 09:00 GMT
The sun rises over an LNG terminal at sea.
Pakistan Strives to Switch to Natural Gas
Hoping to quench its economy's growing thirst for energy, Pakistan has turned to several multinational companies for an ambitious expansion of its liquefied natural gas terminals on the Arabian Sea. On Sept. 20, Petroleum Minister Omar Ayub Khan said Pakistan had chosen ExxonMobil, Trafigura, Royal Dutch Shell, Gunvor and Tabeer Energy to build five LNG facilities. Ayub's announcement touches upon a broader plan to boost the country's LNG processing capacity while shifting the economy's reliance away from oil. With a shortfall in domestic production expected to persist as more customers sign on to the grid, Pakistan's burgeoning demand for natural gas will drive ever-more LNG imports in the next few years. And though some might hesitate to invest in Pakistani LNG lest local partners run afoul of a far-reaching (and allegedly politically motivated) anti-corruption campaign, the growth of the country's LNG demand creates major opportunities for international energy companies looking
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Contributor PerspectivesSep 12, 2019 | 09:00 GMT
This June 29, 2015, file image shows the start of construction of the China-Russia east-route natural gas pipeline near Heihe, China.
In Russia's Pivot to Asia, Economic Attraction Lags Hard Power
Russia held the fifth Eastern Economic Forum (EEF) in Vladivostok, its main Far Eastern city on its Pacific coast, on Sept. 4-6. The forum has been held annually since 2015 to showcase Moscow's commitment to the development of its vast Far Eastern areas and closer economic links with Asia. Russia's "turn to the East" began more than a decade ago. In December 2006, Putin convened a meeting of the Kremlin's Security Council, where it was decided to prioritize the development of the Russian Far East, a huge landmass stretching from the Trans-Baikal region to the Pacific Ocean. At this meeting, Putin invoked Russia's perennial fear of losing its Asian periphery, stressing that the underdevelopment of the country's sparsely populated but resource-rich Far East posed "a grave threat to our political and economic positions in Asia and the Pacific, and to the national security of Russia as a whole." The 2008 global financial crisis helped convince the Kremlin that the center of economic
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SnapshotsMay 7, 2019 | 15:46 GMT
Turkey, Cyprus: The Eastern Mediterranean Heats Up Over Drilling
A number of geopolitical interests intersect in the Eastern Mediterranean, where Turkey, Greece, Cyprus, Israel, Egypt and the United States are all striving to increase their influence. The discovery of oil and natural gas reserves in the region has added yet another layer of complexity to their ongoing competition. On May 6, Turkey said its ships would continue to explore for oil and gas in an area of the sea that Cyprus considers to be part of its exclusive economic zone.
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SnapshotsApr 18, 2019 | 22:52 GMT
Cuba: An End to U.S. Waivers Spells Trouble for Venezuela -- and Foreign Firms
For 23 years, U.S. administrations waived Title III of the Helms-Burton Act over fears of complicating U.S.-European relations. On April 17, the Trump administration announced it will not renew the waivers before they expire on May 2. The expiration of the waivers will allow Americans to file suit in U.S. federal courts over property expropriated by the Cuban communist government. This opens the way for some 6,000 lawsuits worth an estimated $1.9 billion (not including decades in interest).
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