Energy Articles

Leaders walk along the Volga embankment during the Caspian Summit, Astrakhan, Russia, Sept. 29, 2014 (Russian Presidential Press and Information Office photo).
Global Insights

Low-Key Caspian Sea Summit Has Far-Reaching Implications

By Richard Weitz
, , Column

The leaders of all five littoral states attended the fourth Caspian Sea summit in the Russian city of Astrakhan yesterday, where they reached important agreements on some issues. Yet, others continue to divide them, with implications that reach far beyond the Caspian. more


Global Insider

Algeria’s Slow March Toward Nuclear Energy

By The Editors
, , Trend Lines

Earlier this month, Algeria and Russia signed a nuclear energy cooperation deal. In an email interview, Bruno Tertrais, senior research fellow at the Paris-based Fondation pour la Recherche Strategique, discussed Algeria’s nuclear program. more

Waiting for Disruption: The Western Sahara Stalemate

By Jacob Mundy
, , Feature

The Western Sahara conflict is fast approaching its 40th anniversary with no end in sight. A web of geopolitical interests keeps the conflict in a permanent state of limbo. Therein lies the paradox: The peace process now exists to contain the conflict, but only a crisis will save Western Sahara. more

How Latin America Can Maximize its Shale Gas Potential

By Eric Farnsworth
, , Briefing

Thanks to technological advances, shale gas is revolutionizing the world’s energy landscape. The size of reserves within the Western Hemisphere in particular provides the region with an enviable opportunity for leadership in global shale gas. But Latin America still has work to do to maximize its energy potential. The natural resources clearly exist; fully developing shale remains a matter of political will. more

The Realist Prism

Time for the U.S. to Make Hard Choices on Russia, Middle East

By Nikolas Gvosdev
, , Column

It is the misfortune of the Obama administration to preside over the unraveling of several long-term U.S. strategies in Eastern Europe and the Middle East. The tactics used by previous administrations to delay making hard choices in the hope that problems would resolve themselves without Washington being required to make sacrifices are no longer available, as the crises in both regions make abundantly clear. more

New Agenda Reflects Growing Energy Role for Lusophone Bloc

By Francisco Galamas
, , Briefing

Last week, the 10th Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries, held in East Timor, accepted a new member: Equatorial Guinea, the third-largest oil exporter in sub-Saharan Africa. With Equatorial Guinea, the CPLP is collectively now the fourth-largest oil exporter in the world, demonstrating its shifting focus from political and cultural issues to economic ones. more

The Realist Prism

On Iran and Russia, Obama Gambling for More Time

By Nikolas Gvosdev
, , Column

Though it is axiomatic that almost any foreign policy action taken by President Barack Obama will be reflexively criticized by the Republican opposition, in recent months congressional Democrats have been more willing to publicly voice critiques of the president’s performance. But Obama appears to be willing to swallow his pride and suffer domestic political attacks if it buys him time and maneuvering room.

more

Japan Deepens Ties With Central Asia, but Still Trails Russia, China

By J. Berkshire Miller
, , Briefing

Last week, Japan’s Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida met with his Central Asian counterparts in Bishkek as part of the fifth Central Asia Plus Japan Dialogue. Initiated in 2004, the dialogue has served as the foundation for recent ties between Tokyo and Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan. This year’s meeting focused on economic cooperation and potential security collaboration. more

Global Insider

Argentina Looking to Cement Its Role as Nuclear Power

By The Editors
, , Trend Lines

Argentina signed a nuclear energy deal with Russia last week, the latest step in Argentina’s push to expand its nuclear industry. Irma Arguello, chair of the NPSGlobal Foundation, discussed Argentina’s nuclear energy policy in an email interview. more

Global Insider

Why Carbon Taxes, Despite Their Effectiveness, Have Hit Roadblocks

By The Editors
, , Trend Lines

Australia's new senate is working to repeal the country's unpopular carbon tax. In an email interview, Shi-Ling Hsu, the Larson Professor of Law at the Florida State University College of Law and author of “The Case for a Carbon Tax: Getting Past our Hang-ups to Effective Climate Policy,” discussed the role of carbon taxes in national climate change policies. more

Heavily Invested, China Cannot Escape the Iraq Powder Keg

By Emanuele Scimia
, , Briefing

Like it did with the crisis in Ukraine, China is trying to keep out of the chaos in Iraq. But as Iraq’s government confronts the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, it will be hard for China to preserve a policy of noninterference. This time around, China cannot keep out of another sovereign nation’s internal affairs—until now a cornerstone of its diplomacy—given Beijing’s huge economic interests in Iraq. more

World Citizen

In Venezuela, Party Divisions Are Maduro’s Greatest Challenge Yet

By Frida Ghitis
, , Column

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has struggled from the moment his mentor, Hugo Chavez, named him as his successor. Maduro faced countless crises: an economy circling the drain, crime rates skyrocketing and huge opposition protests. In recent weeks, the most dangerous of all Maduro’s problems has emerged: a fracturing of support among Chavista loyalists. If Maduro loses his party, he will lose power. more

India’s Latest IAEA Deal Too Little, Too Late to Undo NPT Damage

By Miles A. Pomper
, , Briefing

India’s ratification of an additional protocol with the International Atomic Energy Agency is the country’s latest step to implement a controversial nuclear cooperation agreement reached with the U.S. in 2008. But the pact has yet to produce the promised economic benefits for the two countries. And its strategic benefits have been decidedly mixed, including striking a significant blow to nonproliferation. more

Global Insights

Park’s Central Asia Tour Reaffirms South Korea’s Eurasian Vision

By Richard Weitz
, , Column

South Korean President Park Geun-hye’s high-profile six-day visit to Central Asia last week imparted further momentum to her “Eurasia initiative," intended to deepen South Korean ties with that energy-rich but geopolitically volatile region. The trip also highlighted South Korea’s value to Washington at a time when U.S. influence in the region is declining due to the ebbing U.S. military presence in Afghanistan. more

The Realist Prism

Russia’s Energy Ambitions Explain Putin’s Zigzags on Ukraine

By Nikolas Gvosdev
, , Column

How to explain Vladimir Putin’s zigzags on Ukraine? Putin’s long-term goal is to prevent Ukraine’s integration into the Euro-Atlantic world. In the short term, however, there is a lodestone that accounts for the shifts in Russia’s Ukraine policy: completing Russia’s emergence as the world’s energy superpower. This involves accomplishing two major projects: the South Stream pipeline and the opening of the Arctic. more

With Eye on Oil, China Raises Security Profile in South Sudan

By Martha Molfetas
, , Briefing

China has agreed to deploy additional peacekeepers to South Sudan, significantly raising its security profile there. With the failure of two cease-fires in South Sudan’s six-month-long conflict, China has committed a brigade of 850 soldiers to the U.N. peacekeeping mission, bringing the force’s total deployment to roughly 20,000. The move reinforces a shift for China, from noninvolvement toward forging peace. more