control of oil
Oil contracts at issue in Somaliland conflict?
Fighting continues in Somalia's northern breakaway state of Somaliland, where three eastern administrative regions—Sool, Sanaag, and Aynaba—have taken up arms in a bid to rejoin the internationally recognized Mogadishu government. Somaliland accuses the neighboring autonomous region of Puntland and the government of Ethiopia (which is officially attempting to broker a dialogue in the conflict) of intervening on the side of the re-integrationist rebels, who are headquartered in the town of Las Anod, Sool region. Somaliland has been effectively independent since 1991, and has seen a more stable and secular social order than the regions controlled by the Mogadishu government.
Russia agrees to (shorter) grain deal extension
Russia has agreed to extend the Black Sea grain deal with Ukraine, but for only 60 days rather than the 120 days of the original agreement. The UN-brokered 2022 deal, due to expire March 18, enables the safe shipment of grain from Ukraine's blockaded ports to boost global supply and stabilize prices. The agreement rolled over in November, but Russia has since argued that the "second part of the deal"—the easing of restrictions on its own agricultural and fertilizer exports—has not been met. Consultations are continuing, the UN says. So far, 24 million tonnes of grain have been exported under the initiative.
Nord Stream pipeline sabotage: rush to judgment
Ukraine is denying involvement in September's attack on the Nord Stream pipelines, which were built to carry Russian natural gas to Germany (but had already been shut by Russia before the apparent sabotage). The denials follow a March 7 report in the New York Times, citing anonymous US intelligence officials to the effect that an unnamed "pro-Ukrainian group" was to blame. (BBC News) German prosecutors simultaneoulsy announced their investigators had found "traces" of explosive on a yacht that had sailed to the site of the attack from Rostok just beforehand, and had been rented from a Polish-based company that is "apparently owned by two Ukrainians." (Politico, The Guardian)
Ecologists challenge approval of new Texas oil port
A group of environmental organizations filed a petition in the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit on Jan. 19 for review of the US Maritime Administration (MARAD) decision to license the Sea Port Oil Terminal (SPOT), to be built off the coast of Texas. The deepwater terminal is projected to expand production in the oil-rich Permian Basin. The activist groups said that expansion facilitated by the installation–to be largest offshore terminal in the US–threatens "disastrous levels of greenhouse gas pollution."
Taliban regime in oil deal with Chinese company
Afghanistan's Taliban regime has agreed to sign a contract with a Chinese company to exploit oil in the Amu Darya basin in the country's north, the acting mining minister announced Jan. 5. The contract with the Xinjiang Central Asia Petroleum & Gas Co. (CAPEIC) is to be the first major resource extraction deal the regime has signed with a foreign company since taking power in 2021. "The Amu Darya oil contract is an important project between China and Afghanistan," China's ambassador, Wang Yu, told a joint press conference with Taliban officials in Kabul. Beijing has not formally recognized the Taliban government but has significant interests in Afghanistan, a country deemed critical for its Belt & Road Initiative.
'Law of Genocide' introduced in Peru
In the midst of the political crisis gripping Peru, reactionary elements in the country's Congress have launched an initiative to repeal the 2006 law establishing reserves to protect isolated indigenous peoples in the Amazon rainforest. AIDESEP, Peru's trans-Amazonian indigenous alliance, is calling Law Project 3518/2022-CR the "Law of PIACI Genocide"—a reference to the Spanish acronym for Indigenous Peoples in Isolation or Initial Contact. The AIDESEP statement also charges that the congressional Commission on Decentralization & Regionalization submitted the bill on Dec. 14 without first seeking clearance from the Commission on Andean & Amazonian Peoples, which holds first authority in the matter.
Syria: SDF cooperation with Pentagon suspended
With Turkey preparing a new offensive against the reduced Kurdish autonomous zone in northern Syria's Rojava region, the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have announced a halt to military cooperation with the United States. In a Dec. 2 statement, the SDF said that "all coordination and joint counterterrorism operations" with the US-led coalition battling ISIS remnants in Syria have been suspended. The move is evidently intended to place pressure on the US to do more to constrain Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who reportedly now has his sights on the remaining significant strongholds of the autonomous administration, Tal Rifaat, Manbij and Kobane. The US has some 600 troops embedded with the SDF in Syria. (MEE, PBS, PRI, Al Jazeera)
Venezuela: oil sanctions eased, Chevron pleased
Negotiations barely got started in Mexico between representatives of Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro and his political opposition last month before the United States announced the loosening of oil sanctions imposed on the regime. The move, allowing Chevron to begin pumping oil again, comes amid global energy shortages following Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Profits are to go to Venezuela's creditors in the US, not the state oil firm, PDVSA.
4 hours 48 min ago
5 hours 2 min ago
5 hours 29 min ago
4 days 3 hours ago
6 days 3 hours ago
6 days 22 hours ago
6 days 23 hours ago
1 week 3 hours ago
1 week 3 hours ago
1 week 22 hours ago