Best of the Week
Most Popular
1. Five Charts That Show We Are on the Brink of an Unthinkable Financial Crisis- John_Mauldin
2.Bitcoin Parabolic Mania - Zeal_LLC
3.Bitcoin Doesn’t Exist – 2 - Raul_I_Meijer
4.Best Time / Month of Year to BUY a USED Car is DECEMBER, UK Analysis - Nadeem_Walayat
5.Labour Sheffield City Council Election Panic Could Prompt Suspension of Tree Felling's Private Security - N_Walayat
6.War on Gold Intensifies: It Betrays the Elitists’ Panic and Augurs Their Coming Defeat Part2 - Stewart_Dougherty
7.How High Will Gold Go? - Harry_Dent
8.Bitcoin Doesn’t Exist – Forks and Mad Max - Raul_I_Meijer
9.UK Stagflation Risk As Inflation Hits 3.1% and House Prices Fall - GoldCore
10.New EU Rules For Cross-Border Cash, Gold Bullion Movements - GoldCore
Last 7 days
Government Shutdown Ends – Markets Ignore Looming Debt and Bond Market Threat - 23rd Jan 18
Stock Risks to Watch: Choose Your Bear Market Dashboard - 23rd Jan 18
Worse than Watergate - Release the Memo - Investigate Uranium One - 23rd Jan 18
CAT Stock Bouncing after JPM Upgrade How High and How Long Can This CAT Jump? - 23rd Jan 18
Why Banks Will Be Slammed In The Next Crisis—And That May Be Good News - 23rd Jan 18
Medicare Premiums Are A Shared Pool - Coming Changes That Will Transform Retirement - 23rd Jan 18
Charged Atmosphere of Heavy Police and Security Presence at Sheffield Street Tree Felling Protests - 23rd Jan 18
Pension Crisis And Deficit of £2.6 Billion At Carillion To Impact UK - 22nd Jan 18
Two Factors for Gold That You Don’t Want to Miss - 22nd Jan 18
Why You Must Own Silver in 2018 - 22nd Jan 18
This Could Be The Hottest Mining Stock Of 2018 - 22nd Jan 18
Stock Index Trend Trade Setups for the SP500 & NASDAQ - 22nd Jan 18
Stock Market Deceleration / Distribution - 22nd Jan 18
US Markets vs Govt Shutdown: Stock Markets at all time highs - 22nd Jan 18
Land Rover Discovery Sport - 1 Month Driving Test Review - 22nd Jan 18
Why should you use high-quality YouTube to mp3 converter? - 22nd Jan 18
Silver As Strategic Metal: Why Its Price Will Soar - 21st Jan 18
Stocks, Gold and Interest Rates Three Amigos Ride On - 21st Jan 18
Why Sometimes, "Beating the S&P 500" Isn't Good Enough - 21st Jan 18
Bunnies and Geckos of Sheffield Street Tree Fellings Protests Explained - 21st Jan 18
Jim Rickards: Next Financial Panic Will Be the Biggest of All, with Only One Place to Turn… - 20th Jan 18
Macro Trend Changes for Gold in 2018 and Beyond - Empire Club of Canada - 20th Jan 18
Top 5 Trader Information Sources for Timely, Successful Investing - 20th Jan 18
Bond Market Bear Creating Gold Bull Market - 19th Jan 18
Gold Stocks GDX $25 Breakout on Earnings - 19th Jan 18
SPX is Higher But No Breakout - 19th Jan 18
Game Changer for Bitcoin - 19th Jan 18
Upside Risk for Gold in 2018 - 19th Jan 18
Money Minute - A 60-second snapshot of the UK Economy - 19th Jan 18
Discovery Sport Real MPG Fuel Economy Vs Land Rover 53.3 MPG Sales Pitch - 19th Jan 18
For Americans Buying Gold and Silver: Still a Big U.S. Pricing Advantage - 19th Jan 18
5 Maps And Charts That Predict Geopolitical Trends In 2018 - 19th Jan 18
North Korean Quagmire: Part 2. Bombing, Nuclear Threats, and Resolution - 19th Jan 18
Complete Guide On Forex Trading Market - 19th Jan 18
Bitcoin Crash Sees Flight To Physical Gold Coins and Bars - 18th Jan 18
The Interest Rates Are What Matter In This Market - 18th Jan 18
Crude Oil Sweat, Blood and Tears - 18th Jan 18
Land Rover Discovery Sport - Week 3 HSE Black Test Review - 18th Jan 18
The North Korea Quagmire: Part 1, A Contest of Colonialism and Communism - 18th Jan 18
Understand Currency Trade and Make Plenty of Money - 18th Jan 18
Bitcoin Price Crash Below $10,000. What's Next? We have answers… - 18th Jan 18
How to Trade Gold During Second Half of January, Daily Cycle Prediction - 18th Jan 18
More U.S. States Are Knocking Down Gold & Silver Barriers - 18th Jan 18
5 Economic Predictions for 2018 - 18th Jan 18
Land Rover Discovery Sport - What You Need to Know Before Buying - Owning Week 2 - 17th Jan 18
Bitcoin and Stock Prices, Both Symptoms of Speculative Extremes! - 17th Jan 18
So That’s What Stock Market Volatility Looks Like - 17th Jan 18
Tips On Choosing the Right Forex Dealer - 17th Jan 18
Crude Oil is Starting 2018 Strong but there's Undeniable Risk to the Downside - 16th Jan 18
SPX, NDX, INDU and RUT Stock Indices all at Resistance Levels - 16th Jan 18
Silver Prices To Surge – JP Morgan Has Acquired A “Massive Quantity of Physical Silver” - 16th Jan 18
Carillion Bankruptcy and the PFI Sector Spiraling Costs Crisis, Amey, G4S, Balfour Beatty, Serco.... - 16th Jan 18
Artificial Intelligence - Extermination of Humanity - 16th Jan 18
Carillion Goes Bust, as Government Refuses to Bailout PFI Contractors Debt and Pensions Liabilities - 15th Jan 18
What Really Happens in Iran?  - 15th Jan 18
Stock Market Near an Intermediate Top? - 15th Jan 18
The Key Economic Indicator You Should Watch in 2018 - 15th Jan 18
London Property Market Crash Looms As Prices Drop To 2 1/2 Year Low - 15th Jan 18
Some Fascinating Stock Market Fibonacci Relationships... - 15th Jan 18

Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

6 Critical Money Making Rules

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

© 2005-2018 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