Oil prices have declined significantly since the middle of 2014, causing significant concern among major oil exporters, among the Russia and the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC; Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE).
Residents of the Middle East are used to attracting the derision of the rest of the globe’s inhabitants with their outlandish conspiracy theories. Local governments’ tendency to offer limited justifications for their policy decisions inadvertently contributes to cloak-and-dagger speculation about unremarkable phenomena.
China’s Strategy Toward Iran and the GCC States: the Challenge of Balancing Interests and Principles
China’s Strategy Toward the GCC States: The Challenge of Balancing Interests and Principles
When the founders of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), convened in Baghdad in 1960, they made life difficult for themselves by violating virtually all of the ideal conditions for operating a cartel.
In light of a series of crises faced by the European Union (EU) during the last ten years, the UK citizenry’s view of the European project has morphed from acceptance to concern, forcing Prime Minister David Cameron to commit to holding a referendum over the UK’s membership of the EU.
Open borders and economic freedom, had, after all, paved the way for the United States’ rise to prominence, and today, the relatively open borders of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, UAE) have contributed to the development of the Gulf states as well as the migrants’ original countries.
Oil prices have retreated from over $100/barrel at the middle of 2014 to less than $30/barrel at the start of 2016, putting pressure on the government finances of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries.
Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Amir Muhammad bin Salman Al Saud recently proposed the privatization of the national oil company, Aramco. Many analysts’ initial reaction was that Saudi Arabia must be in dire straits if it is even considering—let alone actually implementing—such a policy.
In a market that is traditionally dominated by the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries—Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE— Russia has recently entered the fray, and Iran, as well as Iraq are keen to make up for lost time from sanctions and supply disruptions, respectively.
This report looks at the prospects for Gulf-Russian oil and non-oil cooperation, in light of the latest economic and geo-strategic developments that are affecting oil markets.