Saudi Arabia

"You Are Redefining Yourself As A Comic-Book Villain" - Nick Denton's Open Letter To Peter Thiel

"Peter, this is twisted. Even were you to succeed in bankrupting Gawker Media, the writers you dislike, and me, just think what it will mean. The world is already uncomfortable with the unaccountable power of the billionaire class, the accumulation of wealth in Silicon Valley, and technology’s influence over the media.... you are redefining yourself as a comic-book villain. However philanthropic your intention, and careful the planning, the details of your involvement will be gruesome."

Peak Petro-State - The Oil World In Chaos

Pity the poor petro-states. Once so wealthy from oil sales that they could finance wars, mega-projects, and domestic social peace simultaneously, some of them are now beset by internal strife or are on the brink of collapse as oil prices remain at ruinously low levels. At the peak of their glory, the petro-states played an outsized role in world affairs.  That, of course, was then, and this is now. While these countries still matter, what worries these presidents and prime ministers now is the growing likelihood of civil violence or even state collapse.

Does The U.S. Have A Plan For The Post-Oil Era?

The world's largest exporter of crude oil, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, recently announced a plan for its post-oil future. If a country almost synonymous with the oil economy can see the need for such a plan, how can the rest of the world, particularly the United States, the world's largest consumer of petroleum, not see the necessity of such foresight?

"The Freeze Is Finished" - Why Did Saudi Arabia Kill OPEC?

The OPEC meeting is only a week away, but the chances of a positive result are as remote as ever. Rising oil prices, the heightened rivalry between Saudi Arabia and Iran, and Saudi Arabia’s willingness to go it alone will make a deal all but impossible. "I don't think OPEC will decide anything," a source from a major oil producer in the Middle East told Reuters. "The market is recovering because of supply disruptions and demand recovery." An OPEC delegate told Reuters that any changes to the cartel’s policy is off the table. “Nothing. The freeze is finished,” the OPEC source said.

Saudi Officials Crackdown On FX Market As Currency Peg Starts To Strain

As we warned previously, the devaluation, or breaking of the Saudi Riyal peg to the dollar, could be the black swan event for crude oil and the recent weakness in SAR forwards - while not as violent as Nigeria's Naira - certainly signals a renewed market fear that breaking the peg is imminent. It appears Saudi officials are none too pleased with the free markets speculating on this devaluation and as Bloomberg reports, banks in Saudi Arabia are coming under fresh pressure over products that allow speculators to bet against the kingdom’s currency peg, according to people with knowledge of the matter, which were supposedly banned in January.

Saudi Arabia Has Finally Figured Out How To Get Washington's Attention: Lobbyists

While Saudi Arabia's initial response (economic threats) to Washington's sudden renewed legislative interest in the '28 pages' may or may not have helped add fuel to the fire of those who believe the country has something to hide, it has also tried to have a softer approach to the issue, one that perhaps works the most effectively in Washington: Lobbyists.

Meet The Syrian Al-Qaeda Linked Rebel Who Freely Visited America Last Year

U.S. foreign policy is such a disastrous joke, trying to keep up with it is essentially a full time job. In case you still had any doubt as to why ISIS and other assorted terrorists seemed virtually unstoppable in Syria until Russia became involved, the following piece should clear things up.

Why China Is Being Flooded With Oil: Billions In Underwater OPEC Loans Repayable In Crude

Poorer oil-producing countries which took out loans to be repaid in oil when the price was higher are having to send three times as much to respect repayment schedules now prices have fallen.  But while these already poor and corrupt OPEC nations were the biggest losers, one country was a huge winner, the country that provided the billions in virtually risk-free, oil-collateralized loans to any country that requested them. China.

Is OPEC A U.S. National Security Threat?

Republican Kevin Cramer from North Dakota is cosponsoring a bipartisan bill that will set up a commission to probe whether OPEC has used unfair means to bolster its dominance over the market and propose possible remedies on the grounds that the matter is important from a national security standpoint, reports the Financial Times. Though similar efforts in the past against OPEC have been ineffective, another cosponsor, Republican Trent Franks, is optimistic about the outcome this time around. “If our bill does nothing more than to raise this question on to the agendas of business leaders and policymakers . . . it will have achieved something,” he said.

De-Petrodollar-ization Esclates - China Imports Record Amount Of Russian Oil In April

We have reported for years that Russia and China have been doing everything they can to displace the use (and influence) of the US dollar. Of course, as the US has been playing geopolitical games, China and Russia have been working on strengthening their relationship with one another. At the end of 2015, China had become Russia's biggest oil customer, and as of April, Russian oil shipments to China hit a record high. Russia has also surpassed Saudi Arabia as the biggest crude exporter to China.

The Wildest Predictions For Oil Prices In 2016

One reality in the markets is that despite the best efforts of analysts and traders, no one ever knows with any degree of certainty what will happen to the price of an investment in the future. Oil exemplifies that premise right now. All year there has been a tremendous amount of discrepancy in predictions for oil prices with some commentators looking for prices of $10 a barrel and others expecting prices near $100.

What Does The Next OPEC Meeting Have In Store?

Amid a backdrop of oil prices near $50 per barrel, a sharp drop in Nigerian production due to sabotage, turmoil in Venezuela, Saudi Arabia operating with a new oil minister, and Iran aggressively pumping close to pre-sanction levels; the next OPEC meeting on the 2nd of June will act as little more than a forum for continued altercations between Saudi Arabia and Iran.

The Last Minutes Of Crashed EgyptAir Flight MS804: 22,000 Foot Drop In 2 Minutes, Violent Swerving; Crash Debris Found

Most critical appears to be the 2 minute interval from 3:27 to 3:29, when according to the Greek defence minister cited by the Guardian, there was a dramatic change in the plane's attitude and direction. It was in this two minute period when the plane made a 90 degree swerve left and dropped from 37,000 feet to 15,000 feet before swerving 60 degrees right and vanishing at 10,000 feet ten to 15 miles inside Egyptian air space.

US Senate Passes Legislation Allowing 9/11 Victims To Sue Saudi Arabia As '28-Pages' Leaks Appear

On Tuesday, the US Senate passed the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act. 'Coincidentally', on the same day, the New York Times revealed a document published by the National Archives that appears to offer a glimpse into potentially damning information contained in the so-called ‘missing’ 28 pages concerning the attacks on September 11, 2001. Pushing back on the criticisms that the bill was only passed to specifically target Saudi Arabia (which it was of course), Schumer stated "Look, if the Saudis did not participate in this terrorism, they have nothing to fear about going to court."