The Ukrainian state-controlled natural gas company Naftogaz has its work set out for it as the Soviet vestige seeks to cut reliance on Russia’s Gazprom. “Ukraine has one of the most important transit pipelines for Russian gas exports to the rest of Europe. Fifteen percent of the EU’s imported gas flows through Ukraine. At the same time,… Keep reading →
Energy News Roundup: Ukraine Works to Distance Gazprom, Apache CEO Retires and Solar Plane’s Trans-world Flight PathBy Jared Anderson
Saudi prince Alwaleed bin Talal made headlines this week when he stated oil prices would never again exceed $100 per barrel. Surly several analysts would advise him to “never say never,” but the prince also spoke about allegations that Saudi Arabia is deliberately forcing down oil prices in order to hurt Russia. Here’s how the prince… Keep reading →
U.S. Passes New Sanctions Authorizing Statute – Sends Russia Frigid End of Year Message
President Obama: U.S. will “review and calibrate” sanctions in response to Russia’s actions
On December 18, 2014, President Obama signed into law the Ukraine Freedom and Support Act of 2014 (“the Act”), the latest move in a series of sanctions imposed on Russia by the United States and the EU over the past year (full coverage of the Russia sanctions can be found here). While the Act gives the president authority to implement new sanctions against Russia, President Obama has declined to enforce the new provisions at this time. The strategy behind this move is unclear, though it appears to be a “wait and see” approach with the hope that even just the threat of new U.S. sanctions will curb Russia’s destabilizing efforts in Ukraine and the wider Eastern Europe and Central Asia regions. It is also believed that the U.S. administration wants to continue to remain in lock-step with the EU and its imposition of sanctions against Russia.
Gold prices will continue to retreat, as of today, December 6, 2014 it is $1,192 an ounce. I believe it will be below $1,000 an ounce before year end 2015. Oil prices will be below $60 a barrel by year end 2015. The S&P 500 will exceed $2,200 a share sometime in 2015. The Supreme… Keep reading →
On December 18, President Barack Obama signed the Ukraine Freedom Support Act of 2014 (UFSA) into law. Passed by the Congress in response to Russia’s support of the pro-Russian insurgency in eastern Ukraine, it authorizes expanded sanctions on Russia and the provision of certain types of weapons to the government in Kiev. This new wave of potential sanctions places even more pressure on Russian President Vladimir Putin amid dropping global oil prices and the fall in the value of the Russian ruble. On December 15, Russia’s central bank raised its key interest rate from 10.5 to 17 percent, the largest single increase since 1998 and the sixth increase this year.
The Russian economy is heavily dependent on oil – prices of which have been falling precipitously – and sanctions imposed by western governments in retaliation for Russia’s aggressive action in Ukraine are putting extreme pressure on the country’s currency. There is concern the Russian government and/or Russian companies lack sufficient currency reserves to pay debt… Keep reading →
As noted in previous updates, the United States and European Union continue to impose sanctions against Ukrainian and Russian individuals and entities as a result of the turmoil in Ukraine. On 11 December 2014, the US Senate passed the Ukraine Freedom Support Act of 2014 (S. 2828) (hereinafter the “Act”), which would significantly expand the scope of US economic sanctions against Russia if it became law. In addition, the US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control recently released additional guidance regarding the scope of existing US sanctions involving Ukraine and Russia.
Energy News Roundup: Oil Strongmen Are Weird, Russian Bread Prices Spike and US States Support EV Charging StationsBy Jared Anderson
Here’s an interesting look at the peculiar personalities that often accompany top leadership in major oil producing countries like Russia, Iran and Venezuela. “If oil is a factor in the petrostate personality, one might ask whether we might see some change in the leaders, since oil prices have tanked by about 40% in the last… Keep reading →
Energy News Roundup: Rosneft’s Vankor Development Expands, Security Deteriorates in Yemen & Exxon Report Casts Doubt on Climate AccordBy Jared Anderson
Russian national oil company Rosneft is expanding development at its Vankor field in Eastern Siberia and recently announced its beginning construction of a pipeline that will link a satellite field – Suzun – to the Vankor complex. “According to geologic data form January 2014, reserves of oil and condensate of the Suzun field total over… Keep reading →