by Wayne White The Libyan National Oil Corporation (NOC) ended on January 2 a fire that raged for days among tanks in Libya’s largest oil export terminal of Es-Sider, but the militia violence fed by the implosion of governance that caused it continues. Indeed, the levels of suffering, civilian casualties, refugees, and those internally displaced
by Mark N. Katz What a difference a few months make. During much of 2014, Russian President Vladimir Putin was riding high. Russia seized Crimea from Ukraine quickly and relatively bloodlessly. Putin was also able to help pro-Russian forces in eastern Ukraine effectively secede from the rest of the country and prevent the Ukrainian government
by Thomas W. Lippman The country that could ultimately suffer the most damage from a sustained depression in the world price of oil could be one that is not a major producer: Egypt. Unable to sustain itself, Egypt is being propped up by big infusions of cash from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates
by Mohammed A. Salih Erbil—After a period of frostiness, Iraq’s Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and Turkey seem intent on mending the ties, as each of the parties show signs of needing the other. But the Kurds appear more cautious this time around, leery of moving too close to Ankara lest they alienate the new Iraqi
by Djavad Salehi-Isfahani The decision announced last Monday in Vienna to extend the talks aimed at a compressive agreement on Iran’s nuclear program for an additional seven months has resulted in Iran’s currency taking dive. In one week, the rial lost more than 5% of its value in the unofficial market. The devaluation has clear political
by Sara Vakhshouri In the past several days—despite the conflicts affecting Iraq, Syria, Iran and Russia—oil prices have been on a downward trend, hitting their lowest number in the past four years. As of October 2014, oil prices are more than 20 percent lower than June. This trend started with Saudi Arabia reducing its crude
by Thomas W. Lippman
Shortly after President Obama’s startling telephone conversation with Iran’s new president, Hassan Rouhani, a Saudi Arabian journalist wrote that “The phone call between Obama and Rouhani shocked the Gulf states, Jordan, Turkey, Israel, and other countries.” No matter which president initiated the call, he wrote, “What is important to know is what stands [...]
via Lobe Log
Lobe Log contributor Emile Nakhleh, an expert on political Islam and Middle Eastern society, recently provided a fascinating primer on Bahrain to the Bahrain Mirror (Arabic version), an e-newspaper run by Bahraini dissidents. As discussed in the Mirror’s introduction, prior to becoming the CIA’s former chief regional analyst, Dr. [...]
via Lobe Log
About 32 percent of all stock trades in the US stock markets are being done “off market” in “dark pools” and other confidential “trading platforms”. Trading on well-known markets such as the New York Stock Exchange and NASDAQ has been dropping precipitously.
The “dark pools” have taken over some increasing [...]
Iran and Saudia Arabia are in a bitter feud, says practically everyone apart from the President of Iran, and yet that doesn’t seem to be the case in the energy markets. As reported by Bloomberg News, Saudi Arabia has aligned with Iran by cutting oil output by 4% so prices don’t [...]
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