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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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AssessmentsDec 6, 2017 | 08:00 GMT
A picture of world leaders at the COP 23 United Nations Climate Conference In Bonn, Nov. 15.
A Gloomy Forecast for Climate Change
When it comes to climate change, there is no disputing that the world is getting warmer. For those pondering how best to manage a sultry Earth, the issue is increasingly binary: what can be done to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global warming, and what can humans do to better adapt to a hotter environment? For those present at the 23rd Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Bonn, Germany, the question might well have been "how do countries agree to agree?" The COP23 conference concluded Nov. 17 with none of the fanfare of COP21 in Paris, just two years earlier. The expectations, and the resultant goals, were modest, even though human-generated carbon emissions for 2017 have risen by 2 percent, something largely attributed to China. It was also the first U.N climate conference since the inauguration of U.S. President Donald Trump,
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SnapshotsJun 2, 2017 | 22:20 GMT
Russia: Despite Sanctions, Economic Summit Booms
For years, the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) was a lackluster affair, hampered by the sanctions against Russia and the country's isolationist economic policy. But this year's conference has been unusually lively, marking the first time since 2014 that Western businesspeople have attended the event in any significant number.
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AssessmentsJun 1, 2017 | 09:30 GMT
Beyond the Recession, More Problems Await Russia
Russia's economy is recovering, slowly but surely. But that doesn't mean its troubles are behind it. Relative to its last convalescence after the 2009 recession, which was deeper, the Russian economy's current recovery is far less robust, in large part because of lackluster oil prices. (The country loses $2 billion in revenue for every dollar oil prices drop.) The government's official numbers, moreover, must be taken with a grain of salt since the Kremlin has been tinkering with its statistics. The state statistical unit, Rosstat, changed its methodology recently to amplify the effect of the military-industrial complex as the Kremlin embarked on an arms purchasing spree. Then in March, President Vladimir Putin moved Rosstat, once largely shielded from politics, under the economy minister's authority. The head of the statistics agency claims that a government official asked him to tweak the data on the economy to give the appearance that inflation
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AssessmentsJun 1, 2016 | 09:00 GMT
Angola: Where Self-Preservation Is Disguised as Reform
Angola: Where Self-Preservation Is Disguised as Reform
Even as Angola's long-standing president prepares to step down, he is working furiously to eliminate any threats to his family's interests before leaving office in 2018. On May 26, President Jose Eduardo dos Santos issued a decree that Sonangol, the African country's energy giant, will halt its activity in the oil and natural gas industry as well as other sectors of the economy. Instead, the company will focus its efforts on acting as Angola's concessionaire for oil and natural gas contracts. The move marks the latest in a string of steps taken by Luanda in recent months to restructure its energy industry as Angola copes with the financial consequences of low oil prices. However, it also serves another purpose: to limit the emergence of a potential power rival to a president in the twilight of his rule.
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AssessmentsOct 15, 2015 | 09:15 GMT
Lithuania's first liquefied natural gas (LNG) floating terminal docks at the port of Klaipeda, October 2014.
Poland and the Baltics Find New Energy Options
The Kremlin may lose influence in Eastern Europe as the region diversifies its energy resources. At an EU summit Oct. 15, Poland and the Baltic states -- Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania -- will sign an agreement to build a natural gas pipeline that will play a key role in integrating their energy networks. The deal comes within a week of the inauguration of a Polish liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminal in the port city of Swinoujscie and less than year after the opening of a Lithuanian LNG terminal in Klaipeda. These developments symbolize an important evolution in Baltic and Polish efforts to break their dependence on Russian natural gas supplies. While the construction of natural gas pipelines and LNG import infrastructure will not necessarily eliminate Russia as an energy provider to these countries, it will significantly weaken Moscow's ability to use its natural gas as a political tool in the
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Quarterly ForecastsJul 8, 2015 | 09:30 GMT
Stratfor said at the beginning of 2015 that this would be the year when Europe would be knocked out of complacency. The third quarter is when the harsh reality of an unraveling eurozone confronts Berlin and the eurozone at large.
2015 Third-Quarter Forecast
Stratfor said at the beginning of 2015 that this would be the year when Europe would be knocked out of complacency. The third quarter is when the harsh reality of an unraveling eurozone confronts Berlin and the eurozone at large.
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