Features | Political Review

  • ARCTIC SEA ENERGY: a Dream or a Nightmare?

    ARCTIC SEA ENERGY: a Dream or a Nightmare?

    Tuesday, 3rd November 2015
    Laying beneath the approximately 15,558,000 square kilometers of frozen Arctic Sea is 30% of the planet’s undiscovered natural gas reserves and 13% of its undiscovered oil, according to US Geological Survey.
  • CHECKMATE: ENI SHAKES UP THE MEDITERRANEAN STATUS QUO

    CHECKMATE: ENI SHAKES UP THE MEDITERRANEAN STATUS QUO

    Thursday, 8th October 2015
    Sometimes in life, as in chess, a single movement may determine the outcome of an entire game.In this sense, Eni’s discovery of massive gas deposits in Egypt could be the checkmate that Israeli gas exports have long anticipated –and dreaded–. With a Queen who can now move more freely than ever on the chessboard, the question is now focused on how Israel will react to the threat.
  • OIL AND INDEPENDENCE: DISSECTING THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH SUDAN

    OIL AND INDEPENDENCE: DISSECTING THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH SUDAN

    Sunday, 13th September 2015
    South Sudan enjoys the twin status of being the youngest nation in the world and, at the same time, the most oil-dependent country on the planet. 98% of South Sudan’s export revenues are from hydrocarbons. Being the new kid on the block, however, does not mean it does not know how to wield oil as a weapon, both regionally and internationally. There is much that can be learned here, both good and bad. One of the most amazing things about South Sudan, from a petroleum perspective, is that it even exists. To cite Khaled Medani of McGill University—a speaker at a recent conference on South Sudan— “If I was President Omar Al-Bashir, I wouldn’t have allowed the South to go independent, if only because of all the oil.”
  • THE BLACK WELL OF ANGOLA: AN OIL-RICH COUNTRY IN DESPAIR

    THE BLACK WELL OF ANGOLA: AN OIL-RICH COUNTRY IN DESPAIR

    Thursday, 13th August 2015
    Below the equator’s belt on the African continent, Angola sits in relative silence. Conflict ridden for years, the country switched from a war of independence that lasted over a decade to a civil war more than double in length. For 26 years, the country was split in two in a bloody civil war-pegged as the last proxy of the Cold War- that it only emerged from a little over a decade ago.
  • MODELS OF ENDURANCE: ARAB GULF STATES BETWEEN OIL PRICES AND GEOPOLITICS

    MODELS OF ENDURANCE: ARAB GULF STATES BETWEEN OIL PRICES AND GEOPOLITICS

    Thursday, 2nd July 2015
    The initial focus of his talk was Christopher Davidson’s After the Sheikhs: The Coming Collapse of the Gulf Monarchies, predicting the ultimate demise of these royal families as he did in his previous book, published before the Arab Spring. Davidson explained how these monarchies weathered this latest storm, just as they have withstood Arab nationalism, socialism, and republican coups. A flaw in Davidson’s interpretation of the scene, can be viewed through his insistence that oil and religion explain how the gulf monarchies accomplished this feat, a set of answers that betrays a profound ignorance of the paradoxical nature of oil economics and the dynamic nature of stability in the region.
  • WAR-TORN LIBYA FIGHTS FOR ITS FUTURE ONE BARREL AT A TIME

    WAR-TORN LIBYA FIGHTS FOR ITS FUTURE ONE BARREL AT A TIME

    Saturday, 27th June 2015
    Amid the airstrikes, political declarations, and hostage taking, there is another, little-known war being waged; one whose outcome will surely determine the ultimate winners and losers in the battle for Libya. This war is being fought over the country’s single most important feature.
  • Yemen’s  “Gate of Tears”: the Strategic  Red Sea Strait of Bab El Mandeb

    Yemen’s “Gate of Tears”: the Strategic Red Sea Strait of Bab El Mandeb

    Tuesday, 19th May 2015
    Bab El Mandeb has long been a historical and civilizational chokepoint where the shortest trade routes between Europe, North Africa, India, and East Asia can be controlled—or stopped. However, recent events in Yemen, with Houthi rebels in control of a number of ports along Yemen’s Red Sea coast, and the Arab bombing campaign of Yemen—which Egypt is party to—have made the future of the straights uncertain. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, an estimated 3.8 million b/d of crude oil and refined petroleum passed through the Bab El-Mandeb waterway in 2013, making it a critical junction for world trade.
  • EGYPT, THE FUTURE

    EGYPT, THE FUTURE

    Wednesday, 8th April 2015
    World leaders pouring in from all over the world, handshakes, pictures and even a selfie on stage. Cash flowing in, mega-projects announced one after the other, interrupted only by praises of the new Egypt and its newly-found stability.
  • The Islamic State  of Oil

    The Islamic State of Oil

    Monday, 9th March 2015
    There are thousands of politically alienated and radicalized militants joining its ranks. There is an army of its supporters active on social media spinning its messages. They are releasing videos as gruesome as they are stylistically and technically advanced. Most notably, the group is shocking the world with its ability to rapidly expand its territory. This is IS, the self-proclaimed Islamic State of Iraq and Levant, a terrorist organization born from the ashes of Al-Qaeda in Iraq that is seeking the establishment of a new caliphate.
  • Betting It All: How Saudi Arabia Is Gambling with Oil

    Betting It All: How Saudi Arabia Is Gambling with Oil

    Wednesday, 4th February 2015
    When the price for Brent Crude reached its peak in June 2014, few analysts or experts would have believed the longest and biggest oil boom in history was coming to an end. Or that prices would tumble to less than half their current price within six months. In the boom years, markets and experts had come to consider hundred-dollar oil as the rule, rather than the exception. Studies in the early 2000s on projected oil prices for 2015, when a barrel was expected to cost about $20, seemed laughable to say the least.
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