No one expected shale producers to survive extended low oil prices, but they have. The next act could prove even more destabilizing.
The Nord Stream 2 pipeline project is in danger of being derailed.
With Nord Stream 2 Russia’s President Vladimir Putin is nearing his goal of cutting Ukraine out of the gas supply picture.
Russia’s President has used Europe’s dependence on Russian gas as a powerful geopolitical lever. But energy geopolitics is a risky game, especially with Brussels now poised to take advantage of opportunities to permanently slash Gazprom’s market share.
Since July 2014 the price of oil has been falling, and a new OPEC strategy pushed through by Saudi oil minister Ali Al-Naimi makes a reversal unlikely in the near future. OPEC felt obliged to defend its market share against US fracking firms and other “marginal producers.” The pain felt in Moscow, Tehran, and Caracas is an unintended – if not unwelcome – byproduct.