Best of the Week
Most Popular
1. Gold Final Warning: Here Are the Stunning Implications of Plunging Gold Price - P_Radomski_CFA
2.Fed Balance Sheet QE4EVER - Stock Market Trend Forecast Analysis - Nadeem_Walayat
3.UK House Prices, Immigration, and Population Growth Mega Trend Forecast - Part1 - Nadeem_Walayat
4.Gold and Silver Precious Metals Pot Pourri - Rambus_Chartology
5.The Exponential Stocks Bull Market - Nadeem_Walayat
6.Yield Curve Inversion and the Stock Market 2019 - Nadeem_Walayat
7.America's 30 Blocks of Holes - James_Quinn
8.US Presidential Cycle and Stock Market Trend 2019 - Nadeem_Walayat
9.Dear Stocks Bull Market: Happy 10 Year Anniversary! - Troy_Bombardia
10.Britain's Demographic Time Bomb Has Gone Off! - Nadeem_Walayat
Last 7 days
Stock Market Crash Edition - 26th Mar 19
Handy Ways to Boost Your Home Income - 26th Mar 19
US Treasury Bond Yield Inversion and Political Fed Cycles - 26th Mar 19
Golan Heights Oil all about the Shekels - 26th Mar 19
Falling Yields a Catalyst for The Gold Catalyst - 26th Mar 19
Can We Lock Up Rachel Maddow Now? - 25th Mar 19
Real US National Debt Might Be $230 Trillion - 25th Mar 19
Friday's Stock Market Sell-Off - New Downtrend or Just Correction? - 25th Mar 19
20 Days Left to Find Buying Opportunities In Gold - 25th Mar 19
Will the Historic Imbalance in Gold Stocks to Gold Price Resolve ? - 25th Mar 19
EasySMX Wireless Games Controllers Review - 25th Mar 19
Stock Market Short-term Top - 25th Mar 19
UK Population Growth - Latest ONS Immigration Statistics and Consequences - 24th Mar 19
The Fed Follows Trump's Tweets, And Does The Right Thing - 24th Mar 19
Yield Curves, 2yr Yield, SPX Stocks and a Crack Up Boom? - 24th Mar 19
Risk/Reward in Silver Favors Buying Now, Not Waiting for Big Moves - 23rd Mar 19
Similarities Between Stock Market Today and Previous Bull Market Tops - 23rd Mar 19
Stock Market DOW Seasonal Trend Analysis - 23rd Mar 19
US Dollar Breakdown on Fed Was Much Worse Than It Looks - 23rd Mar 19
Gold Mid-Tier GDXJ Stocks Fundamentals - 23rd Mar 19
Which Currency Pairs Stand to Benefit from Prevailing Risk Aversion? - 23rd Mar 19
If You Get These 3 Things Right, You’ll Never Have to Worry About Money - 22nd Mar 19
March 2019 Cryptocurrency Technical Analysis - 22nd Mar 19
Turkey Tourist Fakes Market Bargains Haggling Top Tips - 22nd Mar 19
Next Recession: Finding A 48% Yield Amid The Ruins - 22nd Mar 19
Your Future Stock Returns Might Unpleasantly Surprise You - 22nd Mar 19
Fed Acknowledges “Recession Risks”. Run for the Hills! - 22nd Mar 19
Will Bridging Loans Grow in Demand and Usage in 2019? - 22nd Mar 19
Does Fed Know Something Gold Investors Do Not Know? - 21st Mar 19
Gold …Some Confirmations to Watch For - 21st Mar 19
UKIP No Longer About BrExit, Becomes BNP 2.0, Muslim Hate Party - 21st Mar 19
A Message to the Gold Bulls: Relying on the CoT Gives You A False Sense of Security - 20th Mar 19
The Secret to Funding a Green New Deal - 20th Mar 19
Vietnam, Part I: Colonialism and National Liberation - 20th Mar 19
Will the Fed Cut its Interest Rate Forecast, Pushing Gold Higher? - 20th Mar 19
Dow Jones Stock Market Topping Pattern - 20th Mar 19
Gold Stocks Outperform Gold but Not Stocks - 20th Mar 19
Here’s What You’re Not Hearing About the US - China Trade War - 20th Mar 19
US Overdosing on Debt - 19th Mar 19
Looking at the Economic Winter Season Ahead - 19th Mar 19
Will the Stock Market Crash Like 1937? - 19th Mar 19
Stock Market VIX Volaility Analysis - 19th Mar 19
FREE Access to Stock and Finanacial Markets Trading Analysis Worth $1229! - 19th Mar 19
US Stock Markets Price Anomaly Setup Continues - 19th Mar 19

Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

Stock Market Trend Forecast March to September 2019

ISIS, Turkey And Oil – The Bigger Picture: Interview With Pelicourt

Commodities / Crude Oil Dec 01, 2015 - 08:02 AM GMT

By: OilPrice_Com

Commodities As the terrorist attack in Paris sparks worldwide fear of similar reprisals and a bloody shootout and hostage situation in a five-star Mali hotel exacerbates those concerns, global energy security reels under the pressure of unfathomable geopolitics. In an exclusive interview with Oilprice.com, Robert Bensh—managing director and partner at Pelicourt, a Western-owned oil and gas company navigating tricky conflict zones—discusses:


• The terrorist threat to global energy security
• What ISIS is really after
• The bigger oil picture for ISIS
• Why Iraq can't cope
• Why Iraqi Kurdistan has disappointed
• Why loose and shifting alliances spell geopolitical disaster
• Whether it's all as doom-and-gloom as it seems...

Interview by James Stafford of Oilprice.com

James Stafford: In the aftermath of the terrorist attack in Paris and the shooting rampage and hostage situation at the Radisson Blu hotel in Bamako, Mali, how are we supposed to understand the role of energy in this equation; or the threat to global energy security?

Robert Bensh: We don't have to force a connection here. Every modern day conflict—even if not immediately evident—has at its heart control over resources from oil and gas to water. Religion is but a symptom; a tool used to consolidate opinions, cement power and lure in new recruits.

James Stafford: How significant a role does oil play in funding the Islamic State?

Robert Bensh: I think we have to look at this from a much broader angle. While ISIS is earning significant income from oil sales, keeping in mind that no one really has a true estimate of volumes, the more dangerous aspect of this is that we are well beyond the point at which this is a crazy group of jihadists running amok.

James Stafford: You're speaking about their level of organization and overall capabilities?

Robert Bensh: Exactly. It's not their short-term energy disruptions we should be as concerned about. The bigger picture is that ISIS is trying to build a nation here—a fully functional state with its own oil and gas resources. And one of the most important aspects of their plan is to strangle Iraq's oil revenues in a concerted effort to reduce Baghdad's capabilities to defend its territory. At this rate, ISIS could become the next member of OPEC.

James Stafford: Is Iraq even remotely equipped to deal with this threat?

Robert Bensh: The latest disintegration of the Iraqi state came with the war in 2003. The follow-on prime minister—Nouri Al-Maliki—largely destroyed national institutions that would have presented a challenge to his Shi'ite rule. The weakened state that emerged from this has not been able to effectively combat the forward push of ISIS. And while the Kurds in Northern Iraq were a fundamental line of defense for Baghdad, that too is eroding as the Kurds have allowed themselves to become mixed up in disruptive internal politics that will undo all the work made to date towards independence. That development is not sitting well with investors who put a lot of money into what appeared to be a very stable and forward-moving Iraqi Kurdistan.

James Stafford: How does Russia fit into this equation?

Robert Bensh: It's all connected; and for the energy sector, it all reverberates globally. Less attention will now be paid to Russia's activities in Ukraine in light of the terrorist attack in Paris and the fear that this has sparked off an extended playing ground for the jihadists. As this happens, it is interesting to watch Russia's relations with Turkey, and the additional insecurity Turkey adds to the conflict in Syria. Turkey's game of playing all sides in the balance of power game is difficult to sustain. The downing by Turkey of a Russian jet conducting air strikes over northern Syria is just the first move in the new phase of this game, and analysts should probably start looking at ISIS oil sales to Turkey in their examinations of why Turkey downed a Russian jet at a time when the Russians were specifically targeting ISIS-controlled oil facilities and tankers.

James Stafford: What can we expect from Turkey?

Robert Bensh: President Erdogan has now consolidated his power thanks to his victory in the recent parliamentary elections. This means a clear Turkish policy of regime change for Syria. This in turn will be taken advantage of by ISIS. ISIS has already taken great advantage of Turkey's double game in the form of boosting Syrian and Iraqi Kurds to keep ISIS back but trying to encourage Kurdish disunity by simultaneously attacking the Turkish Kurds. This is diminishing the Kurds' ability to fight ISIS and also creating a very dangerous situation on the Turkish-Syrian border and across into Southeastern Turkey, where oil interests will suffer significantly. Amid the melee, Russia has been launching air strikes against ISIS in northern Syria, too close to the Turkish border for Erdogan's comfort.

James Stafford: How can oil and gas investors possibly navigate this geopolitical terrain?

Robert Bensh: They can't. No one can. Alliances are very unclear, and shifting. No one has a clear strategy because it's not just about containing the ISIS advance. It's about WHO is containing the ISIS advance—even after Paris. Will a Turkish-American air strike combo be the one to kick ISIS out of northern Syria? Or will the Russians? At the end of the day, there is one additional, untapped energy resource to be considered—the Levant Basin. This is where Israel has made game-changing gas finds that will render it energy independent and much more powerful. This is where Lebanon will eventually start exploring, if its political standoff is ever resolved, and if ISIS doesn't upset these plans. What is rarely talked about is Syria's unexplored portion of this highly promising basin. Whoever ends up in power in Syria will end up with this—the longer game.

James Stafford: Is it all as doom-and-gloom as the mainstream media portrays it?

Robert Bensh: That is always a matter of perspective. It's always important to remember that the Middle East has been in a state of conflict since time immemorial and most likely will be for our lifetimes. It reaches us today in different ways, through the proliferation of various globalized media sources. As such, it always seems to be on our doorstep. At the same time, this same globalization in many ways aids the proliferation of terrorism as a new form of conflict. Whether it is ‘doom-and-gloom' is a matter of personal perception. But any way you look at it, these are dire straits out of which no government has a clear path.

James Stafford: What advice would you give investors today about venturing into the oil and gas sector outside of North America?

Robert Bensh: Only invest in management that has a certain geopolitical foresight. Oil and gas men tend to be short-sighted—like most other people. Just because you can make a play work in the U.S does not mean you will succeed in a foreign country in this day and age. Geopolitical insight is paramount to success, and while no one will have all the answers, good management will at least be prepared for a number of eventualities.

Article Source: https://oilprice.com/Interviews/ISIS-Turkey-And-Oil-The-Bigger-Picture-Interview-With-Pelicourt.html

By James Stafford of Oilprice.com

© 2015 Copyright OilPrice.com - All Rights Reserved
Disclaimer: The above is a matter of opinion provided for general information purposes only and is not intended as investment advice. Information and analysis above are derived from sources and utilising methods believed to be reliable, but we cannot accept responsibility for any losses you may incur as a result of this analysis. Individuals should consult with their personal financial advisors.

OilPrice.com Archive

© 2005-2019 http://www.MarketOracle.co.uk - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in

6 Critical Money Making Rules