for Matthew M. Reed | @matthewmreed - The Fuse
ISIS is no longer the “richest terrorist group in the world.” Its oil fortunes have disappeared, along with its territorial control. Even though ISIS may be out of the oil business, the fight for Syria’s oil and gas wealth isn’t over.
The lifting of sanctions in 2016 kicked off a nasty political debate inside the country about revised contract terms and who exactly should benefit from Iran’s oil sector revival.
The independence referendum exposed how vulnerable the semi-autonomous KRG was—as a landlocked, oil-dependent territory surrounded by hostile powers.
An extension is virtually guaranteed but today’s overwhelming consensus masks real divisions, complications and misgivings.
After more than a quarter-century of estrangement, Saudi Arabia and Iraq are just getting started in repairing their relationship.
The Kurdish predicament is defined by energy and oil. Their assets hold the promise of prosperity and independence—but they also serve as tripwires for conflict and sources of leverage for opponents.
Libyan Oi Minister Mustafa Sanalla has facilitated a five-fold increase in oil production over the last year from a low of 200 thousand barrels/day last summer to 1.1 million b/d in recent weeks, despite prevailing chaos and rival governments.
If the GCC crisis lasts for months or even years, the appeal of more extreme measures could grow over time.
It’s clear that nothing is off-limits now and Tidal Wave II has gone into overdrive under President Trump.
Iranian oil output has come a long way since the nuclear deal went into effect and tough sanctions were lifted in January 2016, but the outlook now very much depends on the outcome of the May 19 presidential election.
In combination with robust U.S. shale oil production, the wild cards of Libya, Nigeria, and Iraq could force OPEC and its allies to go back to the drawing board.
Between now and OPEC's next meeting in May, much more must be done in order to make sure the cuts are fairly distributed, slackers come around, and non-OPEC members stick to the deal.
Success and security over the long-term for Iraq depend not on only defeating ISIS soon but also on addressing new and unique priorities, lingering vulnerabilities, and old grievances, many of which are oil-related.
Besides today’s costly oil disruptions, the government in Nigeria is preoccupied with the ISIS-affiliated Boko Haram in the north and sectarian strife elsewhere.
Aggressive strikes as part of the Tidal Wave II campaign have had an undisputed impact on the entire ISIS oil supply chain.
Despite baggage old and new, the Saudis and the greater GCC are ready and willing to do business with Russia even if their visions for the Middle East don’t align.
Any deal is better than no deal for OPEC.
Renewed political turmoil and the takeover of major oil terminals last month didn't stop Libyan oil production from tripling since August. How long will it last?
Two years into strikes against the ISIS oil machine have yielded results, but the caliphate continues to draw revenue from other sources.
The practical, legal, and moral hurdles involved in Trump's promise to "take the oil" then and now make his campaign promise laughable.
Iran's oil ministry wants to attract $150 billion over five years with its new contract terms, but doing business with Iran is still tricky, and the global oil industry is looking to cut $1 trillion in investment over the same time frame.
Historically high oil output obscures the fact that OPEC is also experiencing some of its worst-ever unplanned outages. Combined, the volumes lost to violent conflict, political disputes and other setbacks add up to almost 3 mbd.
Although bitter rivals on the international stage, Saudi Arabia and Iran are advancing similar plans to diversify their economies away from oil, and reduce waste.
Twice in two years, Libyan oil has been loaded onto tankers and reached the high seas, in spite of protests from the powers that be in Tripoli. In both cases the international community came to the rescue.
A familiar formula holds that “oil = revenue = independence” but it’s more complicated for the Kurds in both Iraq and Syria, but the true barriers to autonomy are far more complicated.
The OPEC freeze deal is already having the intended impact, pushing prices up by 40 percent, while also helping to establish a foundation of trust among participating oil producing countries.
Cross Post: I joined Platts reporters Herman Wang and Brian Scheid to discuss ISIS oil operations, revenues and exports; we also touch on bigger questions like whether or not international prices impact the ISIS market.
OPEC's demise has been greatly exaggerated: Venezuelan Oil Minister Eulogio Del Pino’s recent world tour of major oil capitals and the associated price bumps is proof enough that OPEC can move markets just by talking about moving markets.
Unlike its activities in Iraq and Syria, ISIS is focused on destroying Libya's oil sector rather than profiting from it—at least for now.
Saudi Arabia's reforms are hugely important because the country's stability hinges on the robustness and reliability of the welfare state, which citizens hold as their birthright.
In an expanded effort to deprive ISIS of oil revenues, Operation Tidal Wave II is aggressively targeting nearly every part of the group's oil supply chain.
Rather than selling crude oil on the open market, ISIS oil is refined in hundreds of makeshift local refineries.
Early this year, Washington was confident that ISIS oil revenues were drying up. Now it's not so sure.
Libya's oil industry is handicapped more by politics than technical issues, meaning that a flood of oil onto an already oversupplied market is only a political breakthrough away.
The Kurds of Iraq can’t be faulted for dreaming of independence. But given the circumstances, they also can’t be faulted for waiting a while longer to declare it.
For the first time in a decade, there is genuine buzz about Iran’s prospects and its plans for the future. Matthew M. Reed discusses the many obstacles facing plans to rejuvenating the country's oil industry.
The conflict with ISIS has jeopardized several longer-term investments in Iraq's oil production—some of which were overdue, many of which could be set back by years.
Before this week's meeting, Matthew M. Reed sheds light on the internal politics driving Saudi Arabia's decision making.