While climate change is hammering the Middle East, and as Syria and Iraq are engulfed in war (Valantin, “Climate nightmare in the Middle East”, The Red Team Analysis Society, September 14, 2015), Egypt and Israel are going through a profound energy revolution. In effect, since 2011, Israel has discovered two giant natural gas off-shore deposits (Valantin, “Israel, Natural Gas and Power in the Middle East”, The Red Team Analysis Society, April 27, 2015) while in August 2015, the oil Italian company ENI has discovered a mammoth off-shore natural deposit in the Egyptian economic exclusive zone (Anthony Dipaola, “ENI discovers massive gas fields in the Mediterranean”, Bloomberg Business, August 30, 2015). In other terms, these two countries are transforming themselves into a new, … Continue reading Energy Transmutation in the Middle East: Egypt and Israel
Benyamin Netanyahu, the Israeli Prime minister is known to joke about the fact that Moses led his people during forty years in the desert to the only place in the Middle East without oil (Marin Katusa, The Colder War, 2014). And, indeed, for the first sixty years of its existence, the lack of energy resources has been a major difficulty for Israel. However, a profound change seems to be underway, since two giant off-shore natural gas deposits have been discovered in the Israeli exclusive economic zone in 2011. The Tamar and the Leviathan fields hold respectively 10 and between 19 and 22 trillion cubic feet of gas of estimated reserves, which could ensure decades of domestic consumption as well as … Continue reading Israel, Natural Gas and Power in the Middle East
The world oil flood is quickly rising. As we have seen in “Oil Flood (1): The Kingdom is Back”, the decisions taken by OPEC members and Russia not to curb oil production, while Saudi Arabia is forcing prices down, are much more about power politics and strategies than about economics and the “invisible hand” of the logic of “supply and demand”. We shall now focus on what the evolution of the current oil market reveals about current and future geopolitics. Since the end of November, especially since the 27 November OPEC meeting, prices have kept falling down, while the main producers, chiefly among them Saudi Arabia, Russia, Iran, and the private U.S. companies, have all decided, for reasons of their own, to maintain … Continue reading Oil Flood (2) – Oil and Politics in a (Real) Multipolar World
Since July 2014, oil prices have been falling, while OPEC members have decided to maintain their current levels of production (OPEC, 166th meeting concludes). It appears that the Saudi Kingdom plays an essential part in this operation. Numerous articles and commentaries are focused on the economic and financial consequences of this situation, and try to anticipate how national and global economies are going to react. The problem with this kind of questions is that they miss the fact that oil is not only a commodity and the support of gigantic financial activities (William Engdahl, A Century of war, Anglo-american oil politics and the new world order, 2004). Before all, oil is an extremely powerful tool of political power (Michael Levi, “Why … Continue reading Oil Flood (1)? The Kingdom is Back
Each week our scan collects weak – and less weak – signals… We present below some of the most interesting or relevant features for each section. World (all matters related to war, international and national security) – Besides developments in the Islamic State War, and on the broader Jihadi front, continuing tensions between NATO and Russia, and related uncertainties for the situation in Ukraine, what stands out this week is, potentially, how much the U.S. and their supremacy are under threats and how they could fight back, or not. Interestingly, this perception of multiple threats to the U.S. only emerges if one considers various sections together, namely, world (of course), technology and armaments, energy and economy. We thus have together the decline of oil prices … Continue reading The Red (Team) Analysis Weekly 182 – The U.S. under Threats?
A powerful paradox lies at the heart of the current oil and gas global rush (Michael Klare, The Race for what’s left, 2012). On the one hand, the energy global demand necessitates to find and exploit oil and gas deposits, while looking for new ones, even in extreme environmental and political situations, as in the Arctic or the Niger river Delta (Al Jazeera, “Who is stealing Nigerian oil?“, 13 Sept. 2014). On the other hand, 97% of climatologists have developed a consensus in establishing that the current uses of oil and gas are changing the Earth climate (IPCC, fifth report, 2014) at such a speed and rate that basic life conditions could be altered for the whole of the human … Continue reading Energy, Climate and Military Paradox
A major world power shift is happening in the Arctic. It is due to new massive oil and gas discoveries, combined with the effects of climate change. In effect, on 28 September 2014, Igor Sechin, CEO of Rosneft, the Russian mammoth oil company, announced the discovery of a giant oil field in the Kara Sea, north of Siberia (Zero Hedge, “Russia discovers massive Arctic oil field which maybe larger than the Gulf of Mexico“, 28 September, 2014). According to the first commentaries, this sub-sea structure called Universitetskaya, potentially, could contain reserves of oil and gas equal or superior to the Gulf of Mexico. As Igor Sechin declared, quoted by Bloomberg (Arkhipov, Chierman and Chilcote, “Russia says Arctic well drilled with Exxon Mobil … Continue reading The Russian Arctic, Energy and a Massive Power Shift
Editorial – Forgetting food security? While the tense stand-off between the U.S., the E.U. and European member states on the one hand and Russia on the other does not abate and spreads to space, while most focus on the fossil fuel component of the Ukrainian global crisis, one crucial element of this energy that is vital for human societies, food, tends to be forgotten (for food as energy, see e.g. Thomas Homer Dixon, The Upside of Down, 2008). It is, however, usefully re-called to out attention by Chris Martenson’s article “Rising Resource Costs Escalate Odds of Global Unrest” (via Peak Prosperity on Zerohedge). True enough, if you head to the FAO monitoring of the global food situation, so far things are looking all right. Furthermore, according … Continue reading The Red (Team) Analysis Weekly 152 – Forgetting Food Security?
Since the “Arab spring” reached Egypt in January 2011, the political situation has evolved quite quickly (Georges Corm, Le Proche-Orient éclaté, 2012). Many observers analyse the Egyptian political landscape as a battlefield between the Army, the Muslim Brotherhood, and a growing number of people wanting to experience democracy, while the whole situation is being put under pressure by a very degraded economic situation (Seumas Milne, The Revenge of History, 2013). Moreover, those different actors are participating in the political tensions between Arab countries, especially Qatar and Saudi Arabia, and between these countries and the U.S. (Corm, ibid). Egypt has tremendous political importance in the Middle East, in Africa, and at the international and global level. Since the antiquity, this very singular … Continue reading Egypt, Climate Change and the Long Resource Civil Warfare
We most probably need to get ready for a 2C temperature rise and its harsh impact on the world relatively rapidly as a temperature rise of 6C – and above – by the end of the century is increasingly probable. Indeed, interests and current challenges and tensions are most likely to favour shale fuels’ production and policies and adversely affect “green efforts”. Other ecological adverse impacts on global security issues such as water and biodiversity may be enhanced and must be monitored. Citizens’ mobilization on those issues may evolve as trade-offs will be done, and as impacts will be felt.