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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
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.
AssessmentsDec 15, 2017 | 09:00 GMT
Bolivia and Brazil have an agreement to build a rail line through Bolivia that would connect the Peruvian port of Ilo with Brazil's rail network.
Getting Brazil's Infrastructure Back on Track
Brazil's breadbasket is centered in its fertile midwestern highlands with their subtropical climate conducive to growing grain. But given the poor transportation infrastructure connecting those grain-producing regions with major ports on the northeastern coast, Brazilian corn and soybeans often do not follow the most efficient route to export destinations. Considering the importance of agriculture to both Brazil's gross domestic product and its total exports, improving the efficiency of road and railway networks has been a priority for the country. Action on infrastructure projects until now has been derailed, but that is changing.
Partner PerspectivesSep 27, 2017 | 09:30 GMT
A photograph shows Abkhazia's Black Sea coast.
The Black Sea-Caspian Region in Post-Conflict Energy Security Cooperation Scenarios
As China has revived the old Silk road, the countries surrounding the Caspian and Black seas have become crossroads for commerce and economic development. But these states are also struggling to address challenges with energy security, and the solution for all may lie in regional collaboration.
ReflectionsJun 26, 2017 | 20:34 GMT
There are many subjects on which Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and U.S. President Donald Trump have reason to agree.
The U.S. and India Seek Common Ground
There are several areas of dispute between U.S. President Donald Trump and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, especially in recent months. Trump singled out India during his June 1 speech withdrawing from the Paris climate accord, claiming New Delhi only supports the fight against climate change as long as it is receiving billions of dollars in foreign aid for its efforts. Modi swiftly denied Trump's charge and emphasized the need for all nations to fight global warming. India has also come under criticism from Trump regarding the U.S. H1-B temporary visa program. From within the United States, calls to reform the program, which has been a boon to Indian IT professionals, certainly preceded Trump. But the U.S. president has amplified the issue, emphasizing his stance that the program enables foreign workers with lower salary requirements to take jobs away from Americans.
AssessmentsFeb 15, 2017 | 09:15 GMT
The Indian Military's March Toward Modernity
The Indian Military's March Toward Modernity
India has taken a military leap forward over the past decade. In 2012, it tested its first intercontinental ballistic missile, the Agni-V, now thought to be operational, and in August 2016, it commissioned its first nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine, the INS Arihant, making it the first country from outside the permanent members of the U.N. Security Council to operate such a vessel. Its shipbuilding industry has also taken considerable strides, launching the India-constructed Kolkata-class destroyer starting in 2006 and the country's first domestically designed and built aircraft carrier, the INS Vikrant, in 2013. But despite those impressive feats, a number of key structural and systemic problems continues to hamper Indian military modernization and reform.
Annual ForecastsDec 27, 2016 | 13:44 GMT
The main theme of U.S. President-elect Donald Trump's campaign was retrenchment, the idea that the United States will pull back from overseas obligations, get others to carry more of the weight of their own defense, and let the United States focus on boosting economic competitiveness.
2017 Annual Forecast
Long-arching trends tend to quietly build over decades and then noisily surface as the politics catch up. The longer economic pain persists, the stronger the political response. That loud banging at the door is the force of nationalism greeting the world's powers, particularly Europe and the United States, still the only superpower.
AssessmentsDec 15, 2016 | 09:30 GMT
TAPI: A Transnational Pipe Dream
TAPI: A Transnational Pipe Dream
Afghanistan has found itself wedged between competing powers throughout its history. In the 19th century, the country became the playing field for the "Great Game," as the United Kingdom tried to defend its colonial holdings in India against Russia's creeping influence in Central Asia. Today, though the British and Russian empires have long since fallen, Afghanistan is still caught in the middle. But this time, its position presents an opportunity. At the country's eastern border, Pakistan and India are in the midst of an energy shortage that is hindering their economic growth. Meanwhile, just north of Afghanistan lies a wealth of natural gas deposits in energy-rich Turkmenistan. Enter the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) project, a proposed 1,735-kilometer (1,078-mile) pipeline running from the Galkynysh natural gas field in southern Turkmenistan through Afghanistan and Pakistan to India. Once complete, the pipeline will transport a total of 33 billion cubic meters of natural gas each year
AssessmentsAug 2, 2016 | 09:15 GMT
In Kazakhstan, Saving the State Oil Company May Devastate the Sector
In Kazakhstan, Saving the State Oil Company May Devastate the Sector
The minority shareholders of Kazakhstan's lucrative energy firm, KazMunaiGas Exploration and Production (KMG EP), will vote Aug. 3 on whether or not to sell their shares to the firm's parent company, effectively consolidating the two. The parent company, KazMunaiGas (KMG), is fully owned by the state and is involved in some capacity in most of the country's major energy projects, including Kazakhstan's largest oil fields, transportation firms, refineries and sales groups. In 2004, the Kazakh government established KMG EP to act as a separate exploration and production company. KMG currently owns 57 percent of it, but KMG EP has been fairly autonomous since its foundation, a fact that has at times put the two at odds.
AssessmentsDec 28, 2015 | 21:34 GMT
A Small Victory in Ramadi
Retaking Ramadi Is Only a Small Victory
Pieces are moving on the Syrian chessboard, but the game is far from decided -- on any front. In southern Aleppo province, loyalist forces are amassed in preparation for President Bashar al Assad's primary offensive. Syria's Fourth Armored Division, equipped with brand new tanks, is poised to support the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, Hezbollah, and foreign Shiite militias as they continue to press westward, toward rebel-held Idlib. At the same time, loyalist troops in the region are pushing eastward toward several Islamic State positions along the Euphrates River. Given their concentrated effort, the loyalist troops will likely make territorial gains throughout the region in the coming weeks, further stressing rebel forces and potentially shifting the provincial balance of power, albeit incrementally.
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