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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.
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Annual ForecastsDec 16, 2019 | 10:00 GMT
2020 Annual Forecast: A Global Overview
Governments deciding how to approach global trade and economic uncertainty will home in on the U.S. presidential election in 2020 as they try to gauge Washington's future course.
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Contributor PerspectivesNov 25, 2019 | 11:00 GMT
This photo shows protesters in Santiago, Chile, running from riot police on Nov. 19, 2019.
A Rebellious World Is Taking It to the Streets
Demonstrators were out on the streets when I returned to France last week, most of them peacefully protesting but enough burning cars and smashing windows in central Paris for the police to deploy water cannons and tear gas. The latest outbreak marked the first anniversary of a movement, les gilets jaunes or yellow vests, outraged by President Emmanuel Macron's attempt to increase the tax on diesel that fuels most vehicles in rural areas. Although Macron swiftly withdrew the tax, protests have continued in Paris and elsewhere every Saturday since. Participation dwindled, but the anniversary riot showed that the yellow vests are not going away. In this, France is part of a growing tally of countries witnessing mass protests as government after government defends a status quo that many people reject.
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Contributor PerspectivesOct 22, 2019 | 10:00 GMT
This file photo taken around 1930 shows New York's George Washington Bridge during its construction.
Great Powers Invest in Infrastructure. The West Was the Prime Example.
For the past 250 years, Western Europe and North America have led the way not just in inventing new technologies of transport and communication, but also -- and equally importantly -- in building the infrastructure without which these technologies would be useless. The West has sunk astonishing amounts of energy and capital into updating and replacing its infrastructure, over and over again, as new technologies have emerged. Having the best infrastructure has been a key to global dominance since the 18th century, but in the early 21st, there are alarming signs the West is losing its strategic lead. Everywhere, infrastructure is creaking and crumbling. Every part of the system seems to be getting old at the same time. How the West deals with this challenge -- or, perhaps, opportunity -- will do much to shape the geoeconomics and geopolitics of the 21st century.
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Quarterly ForecastsSep 22, 2019 | 22:59 GMT
2019 Fourth-Quarter Forecast
The quarter will be defined by the threat of a conflict with Iran that disrupts oil supplies while the global economy nervously anticipates the next turn in the U.S.-China trade war and the possibility of an ugly U.K.-EU divorce.
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Quarterly ForecastsJun 17, 2019 | 14:35 GMT
Stratfor's 2019 Third-Quarter Forecast focuses on the most important factors affecting the international system this quarter.
2019 Third-Quarter Forecast
The United States will remain at the center of world events this quarter as its strategic competition with China escalates, relations with Iran deteriorate and the threat of tariffs or sanctions loom over all.
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GuidanceApr 22, 2019 | 20:09 GMT
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks during a press conference at the U.S. Department of State in Washington on April 22, 2019, in which he announced that the United States would no longer grant exemptions to Iran’s oil customers.
The Ripple Effects of the U.S. Move to Stop Oil Flows From Iran
The United States is ratcheting up its campaign against Iran with an ambitious new target: all of the Islamic republic's oil exports. On April 22, the White House announced it would not renew sanctions waivers for Iran's oil customers after the current ones expire on May 2, adding that Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates would help stabilize the market. Already, the price of light sweet crude benchmark Brent has spiked by 3 percent, briefly touching $74 per barrel -- the highest since October 2018. Needless to say, the United States' tough line will cause ripples around the world.
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On GeopoliticsMar 14, 2019 | 09:30 GMT
U.S. President Donald Trump leads a U.S. delegation at a working lunch with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and his aides.
Why the U.S. and Saudi Arabia Are Destined to Diverge
President Donald Trump's current enthusiasm for Saudi Arabia notwithstanding, the relationship between the United States and perhaps its most important ally in the Middle East is undergoing a significant transformation. U.S. political pressure on Saudi Arabia is rising, led by a growing congressional discomfort over the Saudi-led intervention in Yemen and the circumstances surrounding the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, but that is just the tip of the iceberg. Beneath the surface of the politics of the day, a pair of more significant geopolitical shifts is helping pull the longtime allies apart: the evolution of the global system away from U.S. dominance toward an intensifying, near-peer competition with China, as well as the fundamental reshaping of the global oil and gas markets upon which Saudi Arabia has built its wealth and power. As both countries adjust to these changing dynamics, their shared strategic relationship will evolve away from the foundation of
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AssessmentsSep 28, 2018 | 10:00 GMT
Rows of solar panels are seen at a Tekno Ray Solar farm on Sept. 13, 2018, in Konya, Turkey.
Why More Global Corporations Are Betting on Renewables
Facebook recently heralded that it will source 100 percent of its electricity consumption from renewables by 2020, representing the latest direct renewables purchase by a major global corporation. The social media site joins Apple and Google, which already power all their operations using renewable electricity. But while Silicon Valley's giants are clearly among the leaders in embracing green electricity, other industrial and commercial segments are not far behind. The materials segment, including metals, is the largest consumer of directly sourced renewable electricity. For instance, metals giant Alcoa sources 75 percent of the energy required for its smelters from renewables, while mining giant Rio Tinto acquires just under half of its energy from such sources. In telecommunications, AT&T and T-Mobile are pursuing aggressive renewables plans, and there are others on the cutting edge in retail, including Wal-Mart, Ikea, Nike and Starbucks. Volkswagen, in turn, leads the way for renewables in manufacturing
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AssessmentsAug 1, 2018 | 09:00 GMT
An illustration shows the copper atom.
Copper: A Relative Constant in a Changing World
Copper was one of the first metals tamed by the human race; people were using it for decorative objects, tools and weapons as early as 4500 B.C. in Mesopotamia. In modern society, the element is necessary for construction materials, electricity transmission and transportation. That means it can serve as a fairly reliable gauge of economic growth, with demand indicating how much effort a country or region is putting into industrialization and urbanization.
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AssessmentsJun 27, 2018 | 09:00 GMT
The Villanueva plant in Mexico is the size of 40 football fields, making it the largest solar plant in the Americas.
How Renewable Energy Will Change Geopolitics
It will take decades for the transition to renewable energy to play out, and it may never phase out fossil fuels completely. Natural gas, for instance, will be important even late in the century. But with each passing prediction cycle, forecasters are more optimistic about how much global energy will come from renewable sources and how quickly. The rate of consumption for renewable energy is currently growing three times faster than the overall demand for energy. A world in which renewable sources account for, say, one-third of the total energy consumed is now entirely plausible, even likely, within the next two or three decades. The shift is already underway, and it will be no less transformative than the transitions from wood to coal and from coal to oil before it.
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AssessmentsApr 24, 2018 | 09:00 GMT
A Buddhist temple sits near a hydroelectric grid main in southeastern Bhutan in 2013.
Wary of China, India Shares Its Largesse With Neighbors
Big changes in the neighborhood are giving the government in New Delhi more than a few sleepless nights. Buoyed by an $11 trillion economy and plans to connect Eurasia with its ambitious Belt and Road Initiative, China is showing up in areas that India has traditionally viewed as its backyard. Around South Asia and the Indian Ocean, New Delhi has long understood the imperative of preventing another neighbor from allying with a rival military power (as Pakistan has done with China), as well as the need to earn the support of regional governments to help resolve bilateral irritants and expand trade to bolster the country's $2 trillion economy.
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GuidanceApr 4, 2018 | 22:13 GMT
Chinese children peek from behind a trash can at a McDonald's in Beijing in October 2000, the month the United States granted China permanent normal trade relations.
Here Are the Major Takeaways From Trump's Tariff List
The consequences of the U.S. fight with China over trade are slowly coming into focus. On April 3, President Donald Trump's administration unveiled a list of 1,333 products to which it intends to apply a 25 percent tariff. In 2017, these goods altogether were worth about $50 billion in trade. Just a few hours later, China released its proportional response: 25 percent tariffs on 106 products, also worth $50 billion in trade. Now that Stratfor has both countries' tariff lists in hand, we can assess what matters and what doesn't about the goods China and the United States have chosen to target, and we can anticipate the course of any possible negotiations between the two.
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Quarterly ForecastsMar 11, 2018 | 22:11 GMT
The White House will bump up against the laws of the United States and the central tenets of the World Trade Organization as it launches a global trade offensive in the name of national security.
2018 Second-Quarter Forecast
All eyes will be fixed on the White House this quarter as it launches a trade offensive whose collateral damage will span the globe. As economic and political pressure mounts against China, North Korea will use a temporary detente with the South to undermine the United States' containment strategy against it.
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AssessmentsFeb 19, 2018 | 09:00 GMT
A map of South America shows the long-disputed borders between Chile and Peru.
Sparks Fly Between Chile and Peru
Relations between Peru and Chile have historically been some of the most troubled in South America, but the past few years have brought a new energy to the relationship. On Feb. 6, Chilean Minister of Energy Andres Rebolledo confirmed that the two countries will begin construction this year on a 30-mile electricity transmission line connecting them. The line could be completed by the end of 2019. The announcement is a sign that both countries have decided to leave their historic animosity behind and that deeper integration between them will likely continue in the coming year.
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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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SnapshotsFeb 1, 2018 | 22:36 GMT
Australia, China: Stepping Up Scrutiny of Foreign Investment
Australia, one of the most China-dependent economies outside the developing world, is beginning to curb investment from the Asia-Pacific titan. China accounts for 30 percent of Australia's trade, in addition to investing in key sectors. But this reliance has long caused ripples of controversy, because it touches on the deeper fears of isolation and of foreign control arising from Australia's geopolitical position. Amid a roiling controversy over Chinese influence over Australian politicians and parties, the country unveiled tighter restrictions on investments, citing national security concerns while turning an eye toward China.
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