Randolph Bell

  • Bell and Manning in The National Interest: Is US Confrontation with China Threatening US Nuclear Competitiveness?


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  • OPEC Attempts to Recast its Relationship with the United States

    Washington Squanders its Newfound Leverage

    Geopolitical issues converged in an unlikely location this week—the conference of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and OPEC and non-OPEC Ministerial meeting in Vienna, Austria. On the table were production cuts intended to stop the 30 percent slide in the price of oil from its high of $85 per barrel (Brent) in early October. Yet Iran sanctions, the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Russia’s increasing engagement in the Middle East (part of a broader pattern of an assertive global posture), the escalation of trade tensions between the United States and China, and US President Donald J. Trump’s obsession with oil prices made politics a considerable undercurrent in OPEC’s decision to cut oil...

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  • Qatar's Withdrawal Signals 'a Weakening of OPEC'

    Qatar’s withdrawal from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) will “signal a weakening of OPEC at a time when it is in some ways less powerful than it used to be, but also more crucial in balancing the market because US production is so strong,” Randolph Bell, director of the Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Center said. 

    Announcing Qatar’s decision to leave the oil producers’ group on December 3, the country’s energy minister said the withdrawal was motivated by a “desire to focus... on plans to develop and increase its natural gas production.”

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  • How Will the Outcome of the Midterms Affect Trump's Policy Options?

    Democrats captured the House of Representatives while Republicans strengthened their Senate majority in the US midterm elections on November 6.

    We asked our analysts what they believe are the policy implications of this outcome. Here’s what they had to say*:

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  • Global Energy Center Experts Weigh In on Iran Sanctions

    At 11:59 p.m. ET on November 4, the remaining sanctions on Iran’s energy, ship building, shipping, and banking sectors that had been lifted or waived under the JCPOA came back into full effect. Iran’s oil exports and revenue are a major part of the administration’s strategy to spur change in Iran on the part of the regime. Speaking during a briefingon November 2, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo discussed sanctions on Iran, declaring that, so far, the reduction in Iranian oil exports since the US withdrew from the JCPOA in May has far exceeded expectations because “maximum pressure means maximum pressure.”

    What effects will the official end of the 180-day wind-down period have on global markets? As sanctions against Iran come into full effect, Global Energy Center experts weigh in on the...

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  • Bell Quoted in Axios on Trump's OPEC Offensive


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  • Low-Carbon Fuel Innovation and the California Policy Environment

    The transportation sector, and particularly aviation and maritime transport, pose unique challenges in the transition to lower-carbon energy sources. However, California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard has ushered in significant investment and innovation and the state is leading the way in advanced fuels.

    In an interview with Randolph Bell, director of the Atlantic Council Global Energy Center, E James Macias, chief executive officer of Fulcrum BioEnergy, discussed how California’s consistent, forward-looking policy environment has turned it into world leader in clean innovation.


    Q:  First of all, what does Fulcrum BioEnergy do?

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  • Bell Quoted in Axios on Prospect of Saudi Arabia Backing Tesla


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  • The OPEC Meeting and the United States: The Elephant Not in the Room

    The geopolitics and economics of oil appear set to collide at this Friday’s OPEC meeting and Saturday’s follow-on OPEC/Non-OPEC Ministerial, as members of the producing cartel and non-OPEC member countries debate the fate of the production curtailment agreement in place since 2016.

    However, the biggest elephant in the room won’t even be there. The United States, while not a member of OPEC or the non-OPEC group that agreed to the cuts, has, and continues to play, an outsized role in the oil market because of both the continued strength of US shale and the actions of the Trump Administration.

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  • The Future of Oil: An Innovator’s Perspective

    Technology, policy, consumer preference, and price are driving dramatic changes in the energy mix, and the United Arab Emirates is at the forefront of efforts to innovate and diversify.

    In an interview with Randolph Bell, director of the Atlantic Council Global Energy Center, Musabbeh Al Kaabi, chief executive officer for petroleum and petrochemicals at the UAE’s Mubadala discussed the future of oil demand, changes underway in the global energy market, and Mubadala’s forward-looking strategy for energy innovation.

    Q: What is your view on the future of oil demand, and how do you manage uncertainty in oil demand?

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