Economy

Cyprus: tensions grow as contested waters yield promising results

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Tensions over natural gas and oil deposits in the sea off Cyprus threatened to boil over this March after Turkey sent a drill ship to the contested region just days after US based ExxonMobil dispatched its own survey vessels. Patrick Kingsland offshore technology Turkish president Erdogan has gone so far as to say he won’t tolerate the reserves being exploited by Greek Cypriots. So what is at stake here and how likely is it that oil will begin flowing anytime ... Read More »

Australia’s deal with Timor-Leste in peril again over oil and gas

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In April, Australia and Timor-Leste reached agreement on their maritime boundaries in the Timor Sea. Rebecca Strating and Clive Schofield The Conversation This resolved a longstanding source of contention between them. The potential benefits of this historic breakthrough are now in peril, because the critical issue of how the shared oil and gas of the Timor Sea are to be developed remains in dispute. Breakthrough on maritime boundaries Australia and Timor-Leste’s boundary agreement was achieved thanks to a… Australia’s deal ... Read More »

Optimism returns to North Sea energy sector as ‘corner turned’

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Optimism is returning to North Sea energy operators, with trends in “upstream” exploration and production activity the highest since 2014, an authoritative report out today shows. Martin Flanagan The Scotsman UK Continental Shelf (UKCS) contractor investment is outweighing cost reductions, with firms also now equally optimistic about the North Sea and international markets for the first time since 2013, according to the 28th Oil and Gas survey, conducted by Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce, KPMG and the… Overall, almost ... Read More »

How the wealth from Sierra Leone’s diamonds fails to enrich local communities

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Ever since diamonds were discovered in Sierra Leone in the 1930s, they have had a significant impact on the country – socially, politically and economically. Roy Maconachie The Conversation This is partly to do with how they are extracted from the ground. In countries in southern Africa, diamond mining is mostly undertaken by large-scale, mechanised companies, which monitor and control deep reserves. But in Sierra Leone, diamonds are more commonly dispersed close to the surface of river beds. They can ... Read More »

Iran’s stance affects the energy balance in East Med

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A new condition is expected to be formed in the Eastern Mediterranean region due to the Iran-centred crisis in the Middle East, incited by the new U.S. leadership. Nefeli Tzanetakou ibna Total’s decision to leave Iran due to Washington’s sanctions at the expense of the country seems to favour Cyprus at the moment. A senior executive told the Associated Press that Total intends to expand its operations in the Republic of Cyprus’s EEZ by proceeding with new gas exploration surveys. In ... Read More »

Saudi Arabia: Back to Baghdad

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Saudi Arabia has been forging links to Iraq since reopening its Baghdad embassy in 2016. Its adversary Iran has strong Iraqi ties. ICG If Riyadh avoids antagonising Tehran, invests wisely and quiets anti-Shiite rhetoric, Iraq can be a bridge between the rival powers – not a battleground. What’s new? After a quarter-century of estrangement, Saudi Arabia has re-opened diplomatic relations with Iraq in an attempt to counter strong Iranian influence. The kingdom seeks a role in post-ISIS reconstruction and has ... Read More »

Loss of marine habitats is threatening the global fishing industry – new research

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Seafood consumption is both a love and a necessity for hundreds of millions of people worldwide. And its supply is a key part of maintaining food security for the whole planet. Authors: The Conversation But during a time of rapid population growth and increasing demand, stocks of wild fish and invertebrates (such as mussels and… The problem is that policies and plans designed to make sure there are enough fish and invertebrates almost exclusively target fishing activity. But we also ... Read More »

In Europe, the Only Choice Is Right or Far-Right

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As left-wing parties have collapsed, the sole option remaining for voters is conservatism or right-wing populism. Slawomir Sierakowski FP As Europe lurches further to the right each time a xenophobic populist party makes electoral gains, a theory has emerged to explain the continent’s political shifts. There is now a widely held view that popular anger is the underlying cause of far-right populism. If that theory were correct, then periods of economic growth should clip populists’ wings and help reinvigorate the ... Read More »

Five things to watch for in the Canadian business world in the coming week

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What’s next for NAFTA?Negotiators for Canada, Mexico and the U.S. are under the gun to make headway on a new NAFTA deal after passing the unofficial deadline of May 17, put in place to give Congress enough time to vote on it by the end of the year. The Canadian Press Winnipeg Free Press Canadian officials say a deal is “close” but issues such as auto-sector content rules and a U.S.-proposed five-year sunset clause remain sticking points. Wholesale tradeStatistics Canada ... Read More »

US criticizes China’s militarization of disputed South China Sea

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BEIJING — The Pentagon criticized what it called China’s “continued militarization” of island outposts in the disputed South China Sea, where the Chinese air force landed long-range bombers for the… The Associated Press NavyNews The China Daily newspaper reported Saturday that the People’s Liberation Army Air Force conducted takeoff and landing training with the H-6K bomber in the South China Sea. China is pitted against smaller neighbors in multiple disputes over islands, coral reefs and lagoons in waters crucial for global commerce and rich in ... Read More »

Nicola Sturgeon: Independence debate to restart this week

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The SNP will fire the starting gun on a renewed debate around independence this week with the publication of a long-awaited report on the economy of an independent Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon has signaled. Paris Gourtsoyiannis The Scotsman The First Minister said the report, expected this week after 18 months of work, will ignite discussion around Scotland’s constitutional future based on “ambition and hope”. The Growth Commission led by former SNP adviser Andrew Wilson, whose report has been repeatedly delayed and is ... Read More »

Varoufakis offers timely economic tidbits

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In his odd little book about capitalism and the global economy, former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis attempts to explain the origins and evolution of market economies, including the seemingly inescapable tendencies of these systems to generate inequality among and within nations. Reviewed by: Scott MacKay Winnipeg Free Press Some readers will recall Varoufakis’ brief and tumultuous showdown with the global financial community during the Greek economic crisis of 2015 and his resulting bestselling memoir about these negotiations, Adults in ... Read More »

Cryptos rise as Hong Kong regulators apply the brakes

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Are HK regulators striking a delicate balance, between staying on good terms with Beijing while staying relevant in Asia’s booming FinTech markets? Pete Sabine Asia Times Alarm bells have been ringing in the cryptocurrency industry in Hong Kong, with the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) alerting investors to the risks of using cryptocurrency exchanges and… On these censures, law practice Charltons Quantum noted that: “Most of the Hong Kong ICO issuers and crypto exchanges contacted, however, confirmed that their activities ... Read More »

Turkey and Israel: Barking, biting, but still doing business

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While the recent diplomatic rift between Israel and Turkey indicates a further deterioration in relations, the Turkish government has avoided taking concrete steps that could directly hurt Israel, whereas the… Cengiz Candar Al-Monitor Israeli security forces have killed some 62 Palestinians and wounded scores of civilians by firing during demonstrations held on the Gaza border, which coincided with the opening of the US Embassy in… The carnage drew a harsh denunciation from Turkey’s sworn pro-Palestinian President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Yet closer scrutiny ... Read More »

‘Measuring success differently’: New Zealand budget’s shift in economic thinking

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The Ardern government in New Zealand is articulating a bigger role for government in society, talking up wellbeing over traditional economic measures — while still playing on the standard “fiscal… David Donaldson TheMandarin New Zealand’s Labour-led coalition government has handed down its first budget, highlighting health, education and housing as areas of focus. “Our priorities are different from the previous government. We are determined to turn the page on the ideology of individualism and a hands-off approach to our economy ... Read More »

Exclusive: As Rosneft’s Vietnam unit drills in disputed area of South China Sea, Beijing issues warning

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HANOI (Reuters) – Rosneft Vietnam BV, a unit of Russian state oil firm Rosneft, is concerned that its recent drilling in an area of the South China Sea that is claimed by China could upset Beijing, two sources with direct knowledge of the… James Pearson Rosneft said on Tuesday its Vietnamese unit had started drilling at the LD-3P well, part of the Lan Do “Red Orchid” offshore gas field in Block 06.1, 370 kms (230 miles) southeast of Vietnam. The ... Read More »