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WorldPutin wants a ‘Dark OPEC’ to control global oil and gas markets

04:40  13 january  2019
04:40  13 january  2019 Source:   thehill.com

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Oil - exporting countries were eventually motivated to form OPEC as a counterweight to this Electric utilities worldwide switched from oil to coal, natural gas , or nuclear power;[88] national We want to tell the world that high-efficiency producing countries are the ones that deserve market share.

OPEC Secretary General Mohammed Barkindo says he has assurances from Russian President Vladimir Putin that Moscow will stick to a deal to Market -watchers have long been wary of Russia's commitment to the deal. The nation's oil and gas giants are seen as reluctant participants in the

Putin wants a ‘Dark OPEC’ to control global oil and gas markets© Getty Images Putin wants a ‘Dark OPEC’ to control global oil and gas markets Democrats now control the House of Representatives and Speaker Nancy Pelosi has made it clear they want to transition away from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources. However, countries that could pose a serious threat to U.S. security and the economy are doubling-down on their efforts to extract and control even more fossil fuels.

In her acceptance speech upon being reelected speaker, Pelosi claimed she would focus on what she called the "climate crisis" as "an economic decision for America's global preeminence in green technology; a security decision to keep us safe."

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“ Putin is now the world’s energy czar,” said Helima Croft, a former Central Intelligence Agency analyst who directs global commodity strategy at RBC Putin , who embarked on his unprecedented alliance with OPEC when prices were about a barrel lower than today and the market looked far more

Global oil market outlook Global trends in refining Global natural gas market outlook Challenges for Russian oil and gas industry Conclusion. Today OPEC countries control about 42% of global oil production. Starting in January 2012 dark oil products and further technological progress, we.

By contrast, Russian President Vladimir Putin, unencumbered by an environmental vision of a carbon-free economy, is engaged in a global effort to unite authoritarian regimes with significant fossil fuel reserves.

Putin envisions a kind of "Dark OPEC" that controls enough of the world's crude oil and natural gas to manage supply, dictate prices and engage in political mischief.

For example, Putin has been casting a financial lifeline to Venezuela's strongman President Nicolas Maduro in return for a significant share of several Venezuelan oil and natural gas fields. In addition, Venezuela has reportedly signed over a major share of Citgo, a U.S.-based but Venezuela-owned oil refiner, pipeline operator and marketer, as collateral for Russian-provided loans.

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After the deal with OPEC , Russia’s energy minister is now as closely watched as his Saudi counterpart. But for Novak it is all new: The soft-spoken, poker-faced Russian has now become one of the key voices in global oil markets after Moscow joined forces with OPEC to cut production and

OPEC and some non- OPEC oil ministers met in Vienna last week and agreed to curb their output by 1.2 mb/d in order to address growing surpluses in the market . The agreement aims to achieve relative stability and to bring the market towards balance.

Interestingly, Putin supplied Caracas with two Tu-160 supersonic bombers, which seems odd given the country can't feed its people, keep the electricity on or even supply toilet paper. Venezuela's problem is its citizens fleeing, not countries threatening to take over.

The Hill reports that Russia pulled the bombers after complaints from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, but the suffering Venezuelan people, other South American countries and the U.S. understood the message: Maduro has powerful friends in low places.

Russia is heavily involved in the Middle East, especially in ensuring Syrian President Bashar al-Assad remains in power and providing financial and technical assistance to Iran and even Iraq in an effort to become the leading powerbroker.

The result is that Russian influence is growing over a critical swath of the oil- and gas-rich Middle East, which could pose a number of future problems for world energy markets.

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Advertise Oil and Gas jobs for free. Talks on a production freeze between Russia and OPEC collapsed in April, after Saudi Arabia demanded that their economic and political According to Putin , Iran has a right to return its oil market share after the sanctions against its energy sector were lifted.

Global oil demand is projected to rise by 38 million barrels a day to 115 mb/d by 2025 — annual average growth of 1.6 mb/d, or 1.7 per cent, over the years Indeed, the establishment of the Forum’s Secretariat in an OPEC Member Country , Saudi Arabia, bears witness to OPEC ’s commitment to

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the U.S. is now the top crude oil producer, with 15.6 million barrels per day. Longtime U.S. ally Saudi Arabia - though that relationship has been strained because of the murder of a U.S. journalist - comes in second with 12 million bpd.

However, Russia produces 11.2 million bpd, Iran 4.7 million and Iraq 4.5 million. Add in Venezuela's 2.3 million bpd and you have 22.7 million barrels per day. Less than the combined U.S.-Saudi total, but enough to manipulate world markets if Russia manages to consolidate its efforts.

And Saudi Arabia just announced it plans to cut crude oil exports to 7.1 million bpd, down from 7.9 million last November.

Given those evolving geopolitical forces, it is absolutely critical that the U.S. not just maintain its drive for energy independence, but seek energy dominance.

While the U.S. produces more natural gas than it consumes, it hasn't reached that point with respect to crude oil. We are still about 4 million barrels per day short of self-sufficiency.

Pelosi's notion that "green technology" will keep us safe is a throwback to the mid-1970s, when U.S. oil and gas production had seemingly "peaked," leaving us vulnerable to OPEC countries wanting to punish us for supporting Israel.

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That’s when Putin played a new role for any Russian leader. Not only did he coordinate Russian oil The free flow of petroleum through the unified global market traded in US dollars If you break up the global market by limiting imports or exports , you get national markets with national prices.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries had announced an OPEC -only production agreement on Friday, also without clear output targets. The United States, China and India had urged oil producers to release more supply to prevent an oil deficit that could undermine global economic

In response, Congress began passing legislation, such as subsidizing ethanol production, in the hope of creating renewable energy alternatives to fossil fuels. But that was before the fracking boom that began about a decade ago made the U.S. the top oil and gas producer.

There simply is no alternative to fossil fuels. After eight years of the most pro-renewable energy president the country has ever had, Barack Obama, and billions of taxpayer dollars, solar and wind power increased from about 5 percent of the country's electricity generation to 8 percent. And while sales are increasing, electric cars remain a rounding error in total U.S. car and truck sales.

U.S. security and the economy face numerous existential threats and we must have the energy security to meet them. Those Russian Tu-160 supersonic bombers weren't plug-ins, and China didn't send its lunar rover to the moon with solar power.

Renewable energy may play a bigger role in the future, but it won't make us "safe" - and neither will Pelosi's green-energy dreams.

Merrill Matthews is a resident scholar with the Institute for Policy Innovation in Dallas, Texas. Follow him on Twitter @MerrillMatthews.

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