After seven long years, the Indian government has decided that the time has come to once again make its presence felt in Iraq by naming an envoy to the country. The previous ambassador to Iraq was withdrawn in 2004 as the security situation in the country spiraled out of control. Even after the situation in Iraq had stabilized, with largely peaceful elections last year and the U.S. decision to withdraw its forces completely by the end of this year, New Delhi took its time to come to terms with the rapidly changing realities on the ground. After all, when it […]

Will the collapse of Moammar Gadhafi’s regime be the salvation of Russia, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela? Even without a forcible overthrow of the “Brother Leader” and the uncertainty of a subsequent interregnum, a protracted Libyan civil war that damages the country’s energy infrastructure could drive energy prices back to 2008 levels. Joshua Schenyer, surveying the landscape, concluded grimly, “Regardless of what comes next in Libya’s lethal political standoff, the OPEC country’s oil sector is nearly certain to suffer, bringing long-lasting supply disruptions or even permanent damage. None of several potential outcomes is benign for Libya’s oil industry — the lifeblood […]

The current wave of upheaval in the Arab world that has unexpectedly swept away the long-lasting presidents of Tunisia and Egypt and which may trigger regime changes all over the region has also steepened the ongoing rise in oil prices and raised fears about the stability of the global oil market. On Jan. 31, after five days of upheaval in Egypt, the price of a barrel of Brent crude on the London-based Intercontinental Exchange passed the $100 threshold for the first time since the financial meltdown of September 2008. Brent crude is currently trading for more than $105, while prices […]

article card

Argentina and Chile are considering entering into a long-term energy agreement. In an e-mail interview, Eric Farnsworth, vice president of the Council of the Americas, discussed Chile-Argentina energy relations. WPR: To what degree have Argentina and Chile been energy partners in the past? Eric Farnsworth: Chile has little in the way of its own traditional energy resources and has therefore long depended on Argentina for much of its energy supply, particularly natural gas. Under normal circumstances, Chile’s natural partners on the energy side would be Bolivia and Peru, rather than Argentina, since the gas that Chile now obtains from Argentina […]

As the recession recedes, fuel prices have begun to soar across Latin America, confronting governments with the dilemma of how to balance fiscal demands with energy subsidies that are increasingly wreaking budgetary havoc, especially in the Andean nations. The Bolivian and Chilean governments’ recent efforts to confront that dilemma led to dramatic images of unrest, with protesters in both nations burning tires, throwing rocks and building barricades in response to announced policy changes. At the end of December, major cities across Bolivia erupted when President Evo Morales’ government decided to remove price controls that were artificially depressing fuel prices. The […]

India’s central bank, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), announced in late December that it would no longer allow Indian importers to trade with Iran using the Asian Clearing Union (ACU), saying it wanted to explore an alternate means of facilitating trade-related payments. The move came as something of a surprise, even though the U.S. had been pushing India to take this measure for quite some time. For its part, Iran did not welcome the move and initially put the onus on India to find an alternative mechanism. Talks are currently underway to resolve the issue. Nevertheless, the episode has […]