Risk and uncertainty pervade decisions on petroleum investments and operations, raising the stakes for companies committing to multibillion dollar contracts often extending twenty or more years. The array of risk factors is diverse, requiring multidisciplinary analysis to decipher. New risks arise and others expand, raising the breadth and depth of challenges facing energy operators.
Hydrocarbons crime, in all its forms, has become a significant threat not only to local and regional prosperity but also to global stability and security. Combating this pervasive criminal activity is made only more difficult by the reality that many of those in a position to curb hydrocarbons crime are the ones benefiting from it.
Saudi Arabia’s leadership recently introduced an ambitious plan called Vision 2030 to move the country away from oil and toward a more diversified, modern economy. Fortunately, the economy is already much more diversified than is often reported, a fact obscured by the very high price of oil from 2000 to 2014. Since the mid-1970s, the Kingdom has developed chemical, metal, and fertilizer industries that are among the most advanced in the world. Most of these industries have been built on the natural advantages of Saudi Arabia: low-cost energy, large mineral resources, access to plentiful capital, and proximity to the huge markets of Asia.
India’s economy is increasing at the fastest rate in the world, now making it the globe’s third largest user of crude oil. While India is benefitting from the low oil prices seen since mid-2014, it has precious few oil and gas resources of its own and will remain highly dependent on imports.
Last year, the Barack Obama administration issued PPD-41, “Cyber Incident Protection,” setting forth cyber security incident roles and missions for federal agencies but with no explicit reference to the Department of Defense (DoD). By contrast, the DoD Cyber Strategy provides that DoD will be prepared to “defend the U.S. homeland and U.S. vital interests from disruptive or destructive cyberattacks of significant consequence.” Certainly, in a conflict where an adversary will utilize cyber as part of an overall military attack, the DoD will necessarily play a major operational role. This paper discusses what that role should entail.
In the Eastern Mediterranean, which is characterised more by conflict than cooperation, persistent conscious effort is needed to minimise the effects of narrow-minded populism or politicisation of issues. Such attitudes are particularly unhelpful when it comes to realising the potential of the region’s hydrocarbons through solutions that are optimal both commercially and in public interest terms. This is a job that requires calm, serious planning by cognisant, and responsible policy makers. Another condition that could be crucial in ensuring the best outcomes is the existence of an informed public debate on the topic – a debate that is based on facts, developments and expert analyses relating to the energy situation at various levels.
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It has been more than two years since the European Union (EU) and the United States imposed economic sanctions on Russia for its aggression in Ukraine. For some of the measures that is time enough to evaluate effectiveness. “The sanctions’ greatest achievement is that they have been an important demonstration of transatlantic unity. Still, there are intermediate goals, not simply full compliance, that this report considers: to contain Russia’s adventurism and to craft a cautionary tale in which Russia pays a high price for—and the West takes a principled stand against—the Kremlin’s violation of international law and its neighbor’s sovereignty,” writes Dr. Sergey Aleksashenko, author of Evaluating Western Sanctions on Russia, a new report from the Atlantic Council’s Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center and the Global Business and Economics Program.
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A new Atlantic Council–Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) report lays out six scenarios for Latin America and the Caribbean in 2030, underscoring how greater integration and better governance hold the key to greater prosperity.
The report finds that if the region and world move ahead as expected, 57 million more Latin Americans and Caribbean citizens will join the middle class over the fourteen-year period. Annual regional GDP growth will be 2.4 percent, slightly outperforming the US rate of 2.2 percent. But the region will face significant challenges ranging from income inequality to its demography and the impact of climate change.