There’s a fair amount of gas under the Mediterranean and all the usual suspects are staking claims. From Mike Whitney at unz.com:
The unexpected alliance between Turkey and Libya is a geopolitical earthquake that changes the balance of power in the eastern Mediterranean and across the Middle East. Turkey’s audacious move has enraged its rivals in the region and cleared the way for a dramatic escalation in the 9 year-long Libyan civil war. It has also forced leaders in Europe and Washington to decide how they will counter Turkey’s plan to defend the U.N-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA), and to extend its maritime borders from Europe to Africa basically creating “a water corridor through the eastern Mediterranean linking the coasts of Turkey and Libya.” Leaders in Ankara believe that the agreement “is a major coup in energy geopolitics” that helps defend Turkey’s “sovereign rights against the gatekeepers of the regional status quo.” But Turkey’s rivals strongly disagree. They see the deal as a naked power grab that undermines their ability to transport natural gas from the East Mediterranean to Europe without crossing Turkish waters. In any event, the Turkey-Libya agreement has set the stage for a broader conflict that will unavoidably involve Egypt, Israel, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Europe, Russia and the United States. All parties appear to have abandoned diplomatic channels altogether and are, instead, preparing for war.
For a supposedly disastrous decade for climate, the 2010s were pretty darn good. From Anthony Watts at wattsupwiththat.com:
This article on Grist (h/t to James Taylor, The Heartland Institute) tries to point out how “terrible” the last decade was due to “climate change”. They write:
As this hottest-on-record, godforsaken decade draws to a close, it’s clear that global warming is no longer a problem for future generations but one that’s already displacing communities, costing billions, and driving mass extinctions. And it’s worth asking: Where did the past 10 years get us?
The seven charts below begin to hint at an answer to that question. Some of the changes they document, like the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and the number of billion dollar disasters that occur each year, illustrate how little we did to reduce emissions and how unprepared the world is to deal with the warming we’ve already locked in.
We can also provide 7 charts that illustrate the last decade of climate change, and they tell a different story.
WASHINGTON, D.C.—The full Green New Deal was revealed by Democratic lawmakers Thursday morning. The sweeping legislative proposal includes ambitious projects like installing high-speed rail across the nation, replacing or upgrading every building in the country, and transitioning the entire country to renewables by tomorrow afternoon.
But perhaps best of all, the Green New Deal promises to build an energy-efficient Gulag in every neighborhood. Anyone who questions the wisdom of the Deal will be assigned to a Gulag for their new, greener job working for the government. The high-tech government buildings will be modeled after their Soviet predecessors but will have solar panels and wind power for a lower environmental impact as the government works you to death.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez personally pushed for the inclusion of the Gulags, claiming they will provide millions of jobs with minimal environmental impact.
“Gulags have been very effective in other countries,” she said. “The United States has lagged behind socialist countries in a number of areas, including healthcare, wages, and forced labor camps. The Green New Deal will change all of that, and we hope the nation can get on board with the program.”
“Because if you don’t, it’s the Gulag for you,” she added.
The shale boom is over, but not the financial fallout. From Wolf Richter at wolfstreet.com:
Texas at the epicenter. We’re witnessing the destruction of money that loosey-goosey monetary policies encouraged.
Following the sharp re-drop in oil and natural gas prices in late 2018, bankruptcy filings in the US by already weakened exploration and production companies , oilfield services companies, and “midstream” companies (they gather, transport, process, or store oil and natural gas) jumped by 51% in 2019, to 65 filings, according to data compiled by law firm Haynes and Boone. This brought the total of the Great American Shale Oil & Gas Bust since 2015 in these three sectors to 402 bankruptcy filings.
The debt involved in these bankruptcies in 2019 doubled from 2018 to $35 billion. This pushed the total debt listed in these bankruptcy filings since 2015 to $207 billion. The chart below shows the cumulative total debt involved in these bankruptcies since 2015.
An electric Hummer sounds almost oxymoronic. From Eric Peters at ericpetersautos.com:
If Bruce can transition into Caitlyn then GM can do basically the same thing – with the difference being Bruce probably paid for his own surgery.
GM is going to want your “help” paying for its transition.
In a few days, you’ll see what you’ll be paying for. The shaved Adam’s apple; the . . . augmentation. And the removal.
The electric Hummer.
It is GM’s virtue-signaling plea for forgiveness. The bad ol’ GM wants you to forget all about those “gas guzzling” Hummers it made back in the early 2000s. It will now make a time-guzzling electric version of the same thing. Which is just as wasteful, by the way – but in a way that’s acceptable today.
But far more obnoxious.
According to Iraq’s acting Prime Minister, Adel Abdul-Mahdi, Trump is trying to muscle Iraq into abandoning a lucrative oil deal with China. From Whitney Webb at mintpressnews.com:
The U.S. is adamant that its assassination of Qassem Soleimani and refusal to leave Iraq is about protecting Americans, but a little known Iraqi parliamentary session reveals how China increasingly strong ties to Baghdad may be shaping America’s new Mideast strategy.
Since the U.S. killed Iranian General Qassem Soleimani and Iraqi militia leader Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis earlier this month, the official narrative has held that their deaths were necessary to prevent a vague, yet allegedly imminent, threat of violence towards Americans, though President Trump has since claimed whether or not Soleimani or his Iraqi allies posed an imminent threat “doesn’t really matter.”
While the situation between Iran, Iraq and the U.S. appears to have de-escalated substantially, at least for now, it is worth revisiting the lead-up to the recent U.S.-Iraq/Iran tensions up to the Trump-mandated killing of Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis in order to understand one of the most overlooked yet relevant drivers behind Trump’s current policy with respect to Iraq: preventing China from expanding its foothold in the Middle East. Indeed, it has been alleged that even the timing of Soleimani’s assassination was directly related to his diplomatic role in Iraq and his push to help Iraq secure its oil independence, beginning with the implementation of a new massive oil deal with China.
Chinese money is proving more attractive in the Middle East than US bullets and bombs. From Simon Watkins at oilprice.com:
Following the political and popular backlash in Iran over details of its plans to make the Islamic Republic effectively a client state through various multi-layered oil and gas deals, China has switched its attention for the moment to Iran’s close ally and neighbour, Iraq. Like Iran, Iraq has enormous and still relatively underdeveloped oil and gas reserves, it is an irreplaceable geographical stepping stone in China’s ‘One Belt, One Road’ programme, and it is in need of major ongoing funding. China already has leverage over Iraq as the leading oil company (Rosneft) of its close geopolitical ally, Russia, already has effective control over the oil and gas infrastructure of the north Iraq semi-autonomous region of Kurdistan, and Chinese companies operate on a number of fields in south Iraq. Last week saw key developments in China’s cornerstone project of making Iraq into a client state.
The first of these developments was the announcement from Iraq’s Finance Ministry that the country had started exporting 100,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil to China in October as part of the 20-year oil-for-infrastructure deal agreed between the two countries. As highlighted by OilPrice.com, the broad framework of this arrangement was agreed last September during a visit by Iraq’s then-Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi to Beijing, with the purpose of expanding China’s then US$20 billion of investment in Iraq in addition to the US$30 billion or so in annual trade between the two countries. According to last week’s statement, Chinese firms Zhenhua Oil and Sinochem were the importers of the Iraqi barrels involved, and OilPrice.com understands that all trade financing surrounding these exports – and many of those to come – have been done by the China Export and Credit Insurance Corporation.
Posted in Business, Energy, Eurasian Axis, Foreign Policy, Geopolitics, Governments, Trade
Tagged Belt and Road Initiative, China, Iraq, Oil, Trade