My newest at LobeLog looks at recent changes in the oil market and how they’re affecting, and being affected by, developments in Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and Iran:
Looking to the Persian Gulf, we can see how three of the world’s largest oil producing nations—Iraq, Iran, and Saudi Arabia—are both contributing and reacting to oil instability. Iran, barely removed from international sanctions that were lifted as part of the Iranian nuclear deal, has been trying to quickly bring its oil production back up to pre-sanctions levels. But after a promising May increase, its June production figures already show a significant decline. Iran has struggled to increase its presence in the European and African markets, but its efforts to increase its oil production capacity have been hampered by difficulties attracting foreign investment, difficulties that only recently seem to be diminishing.
I spend more time on Iraq than the other two because, well, Iraq is in desperate straits, particularly compared to Iran and the Saudis. Truth is I started writing a piece with a lengthy discussion of circumstances in each of the three countries, but when that got to around 1500 words with no end in sight I figured it might be time to pare back a bit. Enjoy!