Reaction In Kuala Lumpur As Air Malaysia Plane Crashes In Eastern Ukraine

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak arrives to deliver an official statement regarding the ill fated flight MH17 during a press conference on July 18, 2014 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Air Malaysia flight MH17 travelling from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur has crashed on the Ukraine/Russia border near the town of Shaktersk. The Boeing 777 was carrying 280 passengers and 15 crew.

It appears confirmed that a Russian surface-to-air missile fired by Ukrainian separatists loyal to the Kremlin took down a Malaysian passenger jet over Eastern Ukraine yesterday. If it is in fact confirmed the Putin regime supplied the weapon, “there will be serious diplomatic consequences,” Kenneth Yalowitz, a retired senior US diplomat who served several tours in the former Soviet Union, told Quartz. The always-hawkish Max Boot had this to say: “If you hand a bazooka to a hyperactive teenager and he destroys your neighbor’s house, the person providing the weapon is just as culpable as the one firing it… Finally the U.S. and Europe need to beef up their limited slate of sanctions against Russia. Just yesterday President Obama announced fresh sanctions against several Russian financial institutions and oil and gas producers which are, inter alia, being barred from the U.S. market. This stops well short of the “sectoral” sanctions on the Russian financial and energy sectors that President Obama had previously threatened, and the European Union pusillanimously refused to go even that far. The EU only promised to block future loans for projects in Russia by European development banks. Perhaps now the EU will get off its knees and join the U.S. in truly broad sanctions that will do real damage to the Russian economy.” [Commentary Magazine] Stay tuned to see how this developing situation impacts Russia’s energy sector and international operators.

We’ve written a lot about the looming workforce challenge facing the oil & gas sector and created a Career Networking Forum on Breaking Energy to help address the issue. This piece drives home the point and focuses on the UK, which looks set to be struck particularly hard by the pending dearth of skilled workers. “’The demographics are terrifying,’ says Greg Lettington, director of engineering at Hays, the recruitment consultant. A recent survey by Hays found that skills shortages were by far the main concern for oil and gas employers worldwide, outstripping factors such as economic instability, and worries about security or safety regulations by a wide margin.” [Financial Times]