Sanctions Have Only Steeled Iran against US, and Given Power to China

Washington sanctions on Iran have undermined the very goals that it would like to achieve. Rather than engaging Tehran, the sanctions are reinforcing the hardliners; isolating moderate sections of Iran’s community, including the business community and the middle class; dividing old U.S. allies and strengthening China’s clout in the Middle East. In the past few […]

China Is Now the World’s Largest Importer of Oil—What Next?

Last month the world witnessed a paradigm shift: China surpassed the United States as the world’s largest consumer of foreign oil, importing 6.3 million barrels per day compared to the United States’ 6.24 million. This trend is likely to continue and this gap is likely to grow, according to the EIA’s October short-term energy outlook. Wood […]

Don’t Be Fooled by Libya—This is a Failed State

Gunmen today seized Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zeidan from a hotel in central Tripoli, releasing him shortly afterwards, but making it clear that post-Gaddafi Libya is a failed state and that the government is incapable of taking full control over its oilfields and export terminals. While the markets have been responding lately with unfounded optimism […]

Risks Abound in Mexico’s New Oil Laws

Much has been made of the recent announcement that Mexico is seeking to update its oil laws, allowing foreign companies a role in the industry for the first time in decades. How serious investors should take the news depends largely on how the political process plays out in Mexico. The reforms unveiled by President Peña Nieto won’t […]

Fort McMurray Evicts Oil Sands Companies that Helped it Grow

The Canadian town of Fort McMurray, population 76,000, is the heart of Alberta’s oil sands largesse–but the town is bursting at its seams with nowhere to expand because the land surrounding it is owned by oil companies. The government’s answer to this is to cancel all the leases on 22,000 hectares of land surrounding Fort McMurray—effective immediately. In an […]

Six Tech Advancements Changing the Fossil Fuels Game

Oil and gas is getting bigger, deeper, faster and more efficient, with new technology chipping away at “peak oil” concerns. While hydraulic fracturing has been the most visible revolutionary advancement, other high-tech developments are keeping the ball rolling—from the next generation of ultra-deepwater drillships, subsea oil and gas infrastructure and multi-well-pad drilling to M2M networking, […]

Extreme Energy, Extreme Implications: Interview with Michael Klare

If oil and gas is a profoundly dynamic phenomenon, then so too must be environmental risk and conflicts over natural resources—and we are not getting the full picture from the mainstream media, according to Michael T. Klare, professor of peace and world security studies at Hampshire College, TomDispatch blogger, and author of Rising Powers, Shrinking […]