posted by Paul Hamill on March 30, 2012 at 10:37 am
Jessica Donati / Reuters
Iran is helping its ally Syria defy Western sanctions by providing a vessel to ship Syrian oil to a state-run company in China, potentially giving the government of President Bashar al-Assad a financial boost worth an estimated $80 million.
Agustino Fontevecchia/ Forbes
“There is no rational reason whet oil prices are continuing to remain at these high levels” wrote Saudi Arabia’s oil minister Ali Naimi in an op-ed the other day. With markets tight but balanced, oil is trading with a substantial risk-premium tied to the possibility of military conflict between Israel and Iran. With the U.S. moving three aircraft carriers into the Arabian Sea to secure the Strait of Hormuz, and Azerbaijan reportedly granting Israel airfield access along Iran’s northern border, the stakes are higher than ever.
CHRIS KAHN /
A big shift is happening in Big Oil: An American giant now ranks behind a Chinese upstart. Exxon Mobil is no longer the world’s biggest publicly traded producer of oil. For the first time, that distinction belongs to a 13-year-old Chinese company called PetroChina. The Beijing company was created by the Chinese government to secure more oil for that nation’s booming economy.
With the 2012 Nuclear Security Summit this week and continuing Iran coverage, there is no shortage of stories on nuclear security.
Last week, when I was in Denmark, I visited the Better Place showroom just outside of Copenhagen. Better Place is a new company founded in 2007 to provide customers with the opportunity to drive clean electric vehicles. Founder Shai Agassi identified that the combination of oil dependence and climate-inducing emissions were fatal flaws in our transportation system, and that the traditional auto companies could not solve these problems.
On late Monday evening, a military confrontation was sparked between Sudan and the newly independent South Sudan; oil infrastructure was reportedly targeted. There are reports that the Sudanese Air Force had bombed oil producing areas, which are claimed by both countries. Talks between Presidents Omar al-Bashir and South Sudan President Salva Kiir that were scheduled for later this week have been cancelled. This has been the worst hostility experienced between the two nations since the South broke away last July.
The German government surprised Europe by announcing the closure of its nuclear power program a year ago this week, immediately after the Fukushima disaster. Some have since reopened, but others never will. They all will be closed and permanently retired by 2022.
This seemed to many of us in the energy field like a rash decision, but it was not. In my conversations around Berlin this week, it has become clear that this was not a simple, snap decision in response to the Japanese tragedy. Anti-nuclear sentiment has a long history and broad support across society.
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