Cold War Lite

Crimea yesterday voted to rejoin Russia and the West vowed to retaliate by initially imposing sanctions on a select group of Russian officials, assets and bank accounts. It’s anyone’s guess what the second phase of sanctions might look like. No matter the details, the US and Europe can’t reverse what appears to be an overwhelmingly […]

Russia: Economic Vulnerabilities

There is a common perception that Russia’s move on Crimea shows its strength.  A closer examination suggests it is more complicated that it may seem.   Like the bully at the school yard, the aggressiveness conceals weaknesses. Simply put, Russia felt threatened and for good reason.  The democratic coup in the Ukraine threatened a potentially strategic […]

Russia Needs to Sell Gas More Than the EU Needs to Buy it

The Russian occupation of Crimea has raised concerns about the European Union’s dependence on its eastern neighbor for natural gas. The EU gets about 34% of its natural gas imports from Russia, a large portion of which transits Ukraine through a web of pipelines. For Eastern Europe, that dependence is much greater. In the brutally cold winter […]

Iran Reveals Details on New Contracts With IOCs

Iran announced new details on how it will design contracts with international companies seeking to develop Iranian oil and gas reserves, according to Bloomberg. At a conference in Tehran, Iranian officials stated that they will provide incentives for companies developing riskier fields in an effort to lift production. Iran appears to be planning for the eventual […]

Bitter Irony in Venezuela’s Oil Sector

In a bid to show members of Venezuelan society the age of Chavismo was alive and well, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro decided to rename one of the largest oil fields in the world after his mentor and former President Hugo Chavez. The Maduro administration might not last the year, however, suggesting the former president’s legacy […]

Where’s the Real Cost of Climate Change?

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says it’s time to have a frank conversation about climate issues, putting the matter on the same footing as weapons of mass destruction. The real threat, however, may be in the form of recession fatigue. “Climate change can now be considered another weapon of mass destruction, perhaps the world’s […]

Iranian Oil Exports Increase After Nuclear Deal

By Nicholas Cunningham: Shaking off some of the restrictions of international sanctions, Iran managed to boost its oil exports by 100,000 barrels per day in January. According to the IEA, Iran was able to export 1.32 million barrels per day last month, with the increased flow going to China, Japan, and India. To be sure, Iran used […]