Saudi Arabia approves ambitious plan to move economy beyond oil

Ian Black Middle East editor
Saudi Arabia has approved an ambitious strategy to restructure the kingdom’s oil-dependent economy, involving diversification, privatisation of massive state assets including the energy giant Aramco, tax increases and spending and subsidy cuts.

A Bright Future for Solar Power in the Middle East

Stratfor Analysis
Deserts are seemingly obvious places to locate solar technology. In fact, the swath of desert stretching from the Atlantic Ocean, across North Africa and the Arabian Peninsula, to the Persian Gulf has vast solar potential. But until recently it has not been economically feasible, or even necessary, to develop the renewable resource. In many areas, geographic constraints such as rough terrain have made solar projects impractical.

Europe's Inevitable Intervention In Libya Will Add 1.3 Million Barrels To The World Oil Glut

Tyler Durden 

Europe is planning on recolonizing Libya, and so it will send in armed forces in the coming months to restore order and stem the flow of migrants coming from Africa. If this expedition army succeeds in securing parts of the country and restoring law and order, Italian and German engineers from ENI and Wintershall will follow suit to help resume the country’s oil production, which will add 1.3 million barrels per day (Libya produced 1.7 million barrels per day before Muammar Gaddafi was toppled in 2011) to the world oil glut.

Iraqi Kurdistan’s Rise as an Independent Energy Player

OilBarrels, cc Flickr Sergio Russo, modified,

Geopolitical Monitor, Omar Mawji
Iraqi Kurdistan’s Oil Industry & Autonomy

Iraqi Kurdistan and the governing Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) is in the midst of a major shift toward autonomy in the northeastern enclave of Iraq. Since the 1970s, the Iraqi Kurds have been struggling for autonomy having faced many internal and external hurdles.

There Is No Secret Russian Oil War

By Paul J. Saunders
Moscow isn't sowing Middle East chaos to drive up oil prices.
Moscow’s promotion of instability in order to increase oil prices is one of the most popular theories concerning Russian foreign policy in the Middle East. Billionaire oil investor T. Boone Pickens recently expressed this view after Moscow’s recent intervention in Syria. The theory goes like this: Russia contributes to instability, which generates uncertainty, which raises oil prices. But is there any real evidence that raising oil prices is a major priority of Russia’s foreign policy?

EU's Southern Gas Corridor still lacks strategic approach

Central Asia Caucasus Analyst, Najia Badykova
On February 29, 2016, the Southern Gas Corridor Advisory Council met in Baku for the second time and asserted that the diversification of EU energy sources remains a key component of the Union’s energy security policy. But the project faces serious hurdles. After many years of discussions with potential gas suppliers, Brussels has only been able to secure 10 billion cubic meters (bcm) of Azerbaijani gas per year for the corridor, a tiny fraction of EU members’ needs.

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