US presidential candidates have been battling fiercely of late, revealing huge gaps between Democrat and Republican supporters over issues such as taxation, financial sector regulation, firearms ownership laws, and US policy in the Middle East.
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.
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.
“You can’t run a business based on sympathies,” the controversial billionaire oil broker, Marc Rich once said. The business of oil is no different; it lubricates the region. And as the price of oil has taken a hit from a high last year of $115 a barrel to $50 a barrel, many are casting about for reasons as to why.
THE ANCIENT Chinese philosopher Mencius once said, “A state without an enemy or external peril is absolutely doomed.” Today, the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) is not faced with one enemy but a growing number of enemies.
There has been widespread debate regarding the environmental risks of hydraulic fracturing, especially concerns about ground water contamination. The shale oil and gas industry is built on the technology of hydraulic fracturing, and it has made vast amounts of oil and gas shale resources extractable at reasonable costs.
With the US Presidential elections set to take place in a year’s time and with the growing disillusionment with the Obama administration and troubles in the region; to the GCC, understanding who may win is of vital importance.
The surge in shale oil supply has changed previous perceptions of oil market dynamics. The US shale oil industry succeeded in doubling US oil output in a few years, specifically after the 2008 financial crisis and up to 2014.
As he basked in the glory of an unexpectedly strong victory in the 2015 UK General Election, Prime Minister David Cameron could reflect upon an especially rare occurrence: the incumbent party strengthening its Parliamentary position after a first term.
Virtual water is a relatively new concept that emerged in the mid-nineties. Virtual water is the amount of water consumed for the production of agricultural commodities which are then exported to water scarce areas, thus international food trade can be seen as trade in virtual water.
The prolonged Syrian civil has exasperated Iran’s foreign policy. For four long years, Tehran feverishly propped up Assad’s regime through various means: extending generous credit to the government, manpower for militias, transforming a once professional army into...