The recent period of relative quiet in Iraq was clearly the calm before the storm, rather than any kind of improvement in security, and will give rise to important questions about the Iraqis ability to manage internal security. This in turn will have a knock-on effect on investor confidence at a time when Iraq urgently needs international commitment...
Events on the ground in Libya are moving extremely fast, and the situation remains extremely volatile. Even Ghaddafi loyalists are jumping from a sinking ship: according to the Kuwait News Agency, Libya's ambassador to Kuwait, Muhammad al-Mubarak, has said he is defecting to the rebels. Al-Mubarak said the "Libyan embassy in Kuwait will operate from today as a representative of Libya's National Transitional Council..."
The already sensitive geopolitical and socio-economic relationships between the U.S., China, Pakistan and Israel are about to become even more complex...
There are clear signs that a political accommodation may be in the cards, and, if that is the case, then Kurdistan and the south of Iraq will become booming business regions of genuine strategic business relevance where significant returns on investment can be made. The major oil service companies, in particular Nabors, Halliburton, and Schlumberger, are heralding a change in operational emphasis towards exploration, reflecting a generally increasing sense of optimism within the oil and gas sectors. Major oil service companies have made statements and released results that indicate the oil and gas sector in Iraq is poised for significant growth, both in the South and the North of the country. This report examines the growth potential...
Two of the world's critical waterways, the Straits of Hormuz and the Bab al-Mandab, are found at the geographic and political center of multiple Middle East crises that are threatening to affect -- to a greater or lesser extent -- almost every country whose oil and commodities transit those waterways. The crises include the various Middle East revolutions creating turmoil in the region but also the increasingly painful economic sanctions imposed by the U.S., the U.N. and the European Union (E.U.) on Iran as punishment for its alleged nuclear weapons' program...