Oil

An Iranian oil facility on Kharg Island in the Persian Gulf on March 12, 2017. (Atta Kenare/AFP/Getty Images)

Energy Security Is the Real Way to Put America First

Looming Iran oil sanctions pose challenges for U.S. energy policy.

A satellite view of the Bab el-Mandeb Strait near Yemen on March 28, 2015. (USGS/NASA Landsat/Orbital Horizon/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

Iran’s Yemeni Proxies Put Oil Shipments in Crosshairs

A Houthi attack on two Saudi oil tankers near Yemen could be an Iranian bid to hammer a key energy choke point.

Iranian protesters hold a portrait of the commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard's Quds Force, Gen. Qassem Suleimani, during a demonstration in the capital Tehran on December 11, 2017.

Iran Hawks Should Be Careful What They Wish For

Pushing for regime change in Tehran could put Qassem Suleimani in power.

Saudi energy minister Khalid al-Falih, the architect of OPEC’s production restraints that drove prices higher in recent years, in Baghdad on May 22, 2017.

Proposed Law Would Allow U.S. to Sue OPEC for Manipulating Oil Market

Trump appears to favor the idea, but oil producers are already pumping flat out.

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How Venezuela Struck It Poor

The tragic — and totally avoidable — self-destruction of one of the world’s richest oil economies.

Mexican President Elect Andres Manuel López Obrador speaks after his electoral victory, Mexico City, Mexico, Jul. 1, 2018. (Pedro Mera/Getty Images)

Mexico’s Populist New President Unlikely to Derail Energy Reform

López Obrador won’t reverse the country’s historic oil opening — but he won’t expand it, either.

Family members shout slogans as they wait outside the Kobar prison in north Khartoum to welcome their loved ones after Sudan released dozens of opposition activists Feb. 18 who were arrested in January when authorities cracked down on protests against rising food prices. (Ebrahim Hamid/AFP/Getty Images)

Sanctions Against Sudan Didn’t Harm an Oppressive Government — They Helped It

The end of economic isolation hasn’t brought a financial windfall or more freedom. Instead, the regime is as strong as ever while ordinary people suffer.

An oil tanker prepares to dock at Khark Island in the Persian Gulf on March 12, 2017. (Atta Kenare/AFP/Getty Images)

Trump’s Push to Ban Iranian Oil Could Mean Pain at the Pump

Big buyers of Iranian oil such as China are seen as unlikely to cut purchases to zero, but sanctions will still send crude prices higher.

OPEC Conference President Saudi Arabia's Energy Minister Khaled al-Falih (2ndR), OPEC  Secretary General Mohammed Barkindo (R) and Angola's Governor for OPEC and Chairman of the Board of Governors Estevao Pedro (2nd L) the 173rd OPEC Conference of Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) in Vienna, on November 30, 2017. (Joe Klamar/AFP/Getty Images)

This Isn’t Your Father’s OPEC Anymore

Global oil markets are controlled by Russia and Saudi Arabia — despite America’s shale boom.

An Iraqi worker at an oil refinery in Nasiriyah, Oct. 30, 2015. (Haidar Mohammed Ali/AFP/Getty Images)

OPEC Agrees to Boost Oil Output

The oil cartel vowed to add 1 million barrels a day to markets. It won’t add quite that much.

A Libyan fireman stands in front of smoke and flames rising from a storage tank at an oil facility in northern Libya's Ras Lanuf region on January 23, 2016, after it was set ablaze earlier in the week following attacks launched by Islamic State jihadists to seize key port terminals.

The West Is Letting Libya Tear Itself Apart

Calling for elections in the absence of stable institutions while competing for diplomatic and economic influence won’t rebuild the country — it will destroy it.

Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih and Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak at an OPEC meeting in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia on April 20. (Amer Hilabi/AFP/Getty Images)

OPEC Close to Agreement to Open the Oil Taps

With or without Iranian cooperation, extra barrels of crude could help meet rising demand. But there’s still reason to fear a price spike later this year.

Above: Two people look over the balcony on the second floor of the Parliament building in Georgetown on April 26. Top: In a section of Georgetown called Houston, contractors are building out a new oil industry depot, capable of storing needed equipment, fuel, water, cement, fluids, and other materials that contractors working in Guyana’s deep waters need. The base already has a contract to supply ExxonMobil. (Micah Maidenberg for Foreign Policy)

The Country That Wasn’t Ready to Win the Lottery

Guyana just discovered it owns enough oil to solve all its problems — and cause even bigger ones.

An Ethiopian U.N. peacekeeper patrols the Amiet Market in Abyei. The market has become the largest trading hub in the region and a symbol of peace between the Misseriya nomads from Sudan and the Ngok Dinka from South Sudan. Local leaders use the market to resolve issues of conflict and are working together to bring stability to the area, which has been contested for more than ten years.

Conflict in Abyei Could Reignite South Sudan’s Civil War

If the U.N. withdraws peacekeepers from a long-contested oil-rich enclave, it's likely to spark further fighting in an already unstable region.

Teenagers from a boxing school take part in a training session in the Caspian Sea near Soviet oil rigs in the Azerbaijani capital Baku on June 27, 2015. (KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP/Getty Images)

Why the West Needs Azerbaijan

There is only one way for vital Asian oil and gas resources to reach Europe without passing through Russia and Iran: through the narrow “Ganja Gap.”

Iran's Bushehr nuclear power plant on Aug. 21, 2010. (IIPA via Getty Images)

In the Middle East, Soon Everyone Will Want the Bomb

The region is at risk of a nuclear arms race. Washington needs to stop proliferation before it starts.

Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin at the West Lake State Guest House on Sept. 4, 2016 in Hangzhou, China. (Wang Zhou - Pool/Getty Images)

China Has Decided Russia Is Too Risky an Investment

The economics of a major oil deal seemed to make sense. But when energy companies are arms of the state, economics aren't the only factor.

U.S. President Donald Trump and Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari arrive for a joint press conference in the Rose Garden of the White House on April 30, 2018.

An Arms Deal Won’t Heal What Ails Muhammadu Buhari

Nigeria’s president is trying to prove he can get from Washington what his predecessor couldn’t, but it might not be enough to get him re-elected.

Donald Trump at a rally May 5, 2016 in Charleston, West Virginia. (BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)

Trump’s Iran Policy Is Blowing Up His Energy Agenda

The U.S. president wanted to be energy independent, but he’s forcing his country to get more deeply involved in the global oil market.

Donald Trump speaks at a rally organized by the Tea Party Patriots against the Iran nuclear deal while campaigning for president in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 9, 2015.  (Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images)

What Happens if the U.S. Bows Out of the Iran Nuclear Deal?

By reimposing sanctions, Trump risks alienating Europe and freeing Iran to revive its nuclear program.

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