PowerSwitch Main Page
PowerSwitch
The UK's Peak Oil Discussion Forum & Community
 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

Is the Middle East about to blow up?
Goto page 1, 2  Next
 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    PowerSwitch Forum Index -> General Discussion
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
Lord Beria3



Joined: 25 Feb 2009
Posts: 4102
Location: Moscow Russia

PostPosted: Wed Jun 07, 2017 7:32 pm    Post subject: Is the Middle East about to blow up? Reply with quote

The last few days (whilst most people have been obsessing about the UK ge) events in the Middle East have got increasingly serious...

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4579806/Several-wounded-attacks-Iran-parliament-tomb-reports.html

1) the Gulf States have ended all relations with Qatar, blockading its ports and leaving the tiny gas rich state with only 3 weeks worth of food.

2) terrorist attack in Iran today targeting the Iranian parliament. Islamic State have declared responsibility. Iran has accused Saudi Arabia of being behind the attack.

Lets repeat that, Iran has just accused Saudi Arabia of orchestrating a terror attack on its parliament!

If this crisis escalates, missiles could start flying across the Gulf and the critical oil and gas supplies will be stopped.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jun/07/iran-tehran-attacks-parliament-khomeini-isis-saudi-arabia-donald-trump

Quote:
The apparently coordinated assaults have been blamed by Iran’s hardline Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) on Saudi Arabia and, whatever the truth of the allegation, they are likely to have a big political impact far beyond Iran, stoking tensions with the US, Saudi Arabia and the Sunni Muslim monarchies of the Gulf.

Islamic State quickly claimed responsibility – if true, it would mean the militant group has finally succeeded in importing its divisive brand of random terror into the home of its principal Shia Muslim adversary.


This is definitely something worth monitoring...
_________________
Peace always has been and always will be an intermittent flash of light in a dark history of warfare, violence, and destruction
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
adam2
Site Admin


Joined: 02 Jul 2007
Posts: 6209
Location: North Somerset

PostPosted: Wed Jun 07, 2017 7:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Certainly cause for concern.
It will PROBABLY all blow over as this sort of thing usually does without much effect on the wider world.

However eventually one of these local arguments will get out of control and have most serious consequences for the price and availability of oil and natural gas.

It would be well to review ones preps for both shortages of transport fuel, and for power cuts due to scarcity of natural gas on which we are increasingly reliant for electricity generation.
Even if THIS crisis blows over, what about the next one, and those following ?
Eventually the ME is going to blow up, it is full of people who hate each other.
_________________
"Installers and owners of emergency diesels must assume that they will have to run for a week or more"
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Lord Beria3



Joined: 25 Feb 2009
Posts: 4102
Location: Moscow Russia

PostPosted: Wed Jun 07, 2017 8:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

https://foreignpolicy.com/2017/06/05/will-qatars-diplomatic-exile-spark-the-next-great-war-saudi-arabia-trump-iran/?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Fp&utm_term=Flashpoints

Quote:
Sarajevo 1914, Doha 2017? We could be at a historic moment akin to the assassination of the heir presumptive to the Austro-Hungarian Empire, which resulted in what became known as the Great War. This time, though, the possible clash is between a Saudi-United Arab Emirates force and Iran. Washington is going to have to act quickly to stop the march to war, rather than wait for the carnage to begin.

The nominal target of Saudi Arabia and the UAE is Qatar, which has long diverged from the Arab Gulf consensus over Iran. Riyadh and a growing list of Arab countries broke ties Monday with the gas-rich emirate, and Saudi Arabia announced that it had halted permission for Qatari overflights, closed the land border, and banned ships bound for Qatar transiting its waters. This is a casus belli by almost any definition. For perspective, the Six-Day War, which occurred 50 years ago this week, was prompted by Egypt’s closure of the Straits of Tiran, thus cutting off Israel’s access to the Red Sea.

In response, Iran reportedly announced it will allow Qatar to use three of its ports to collect the food imports on which the country is dependent — a gesture that Riyadh and Abu Dhabi will probably see as only confirming Doha’s treacherous ties with Tehran.


Agree Adam that it will probably blow over and cool heads prevail.

On the other hand, the Middle East is not known for cool heads and various parties might prefer to escalate matters (Iranian hardliners, ISIS and factions within Saudi Arabia).

Adam - what is your takeon the supply implications of actual war breaking out?
_________________
Peace always has been and always will be an intermittent flash of light in a dark history of warfare, violence, and destruction
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
adam2
Site Admin


Joined: 02 Jul 2007
Posts: 6209
Location: North Somerset

PostPosted: Thu Jun 08, 2017 12:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The degree of disruption to oil supplies would be very dependant on the length of the war.

A brief war in which one side soon wins would have relatively little effect on oil supplies. The winning side would probably be keen to restore exports ASAP as they would want the money.

A longer drawn out war could be much more serious since supplies would be affected for the duration, and more infrastructure damage is likely meaning that even peace would not bring normal supplies.

The worst option of all (excluding a nuclear conflict) would be a long drawn out terrorist war with gradual but random attacks on oil related infrastructure.
Consider as an illustrative example.
Week 1 use a missile to sink a random oil tanker.
Week 2 use another missile on a major oil port.
Week 3 blow up the ME headquarters of a major oil company.
Week 4 blow up an LNG terminal in the UK.
Week 5 do nothing but publicly promise a "major escalation"
Week 6 blow up a LNG tanker.
Week 7 blow up a consulate or embassy in a major oil producer.
Week 8 blow up a few random oil wells.
Week 9 blow up an important oil pipeline.

Continue broadly similar attacks in an unpredictable and random way for a year or so.
That could be serious.
_________________
"Installers and owners of emergency diesels must assume that they will have to run for a week or more"
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
adam2
Site Admin


Joined: 02 Jul 2007
Posts: 6209
Location: North Somerset

PostPosted: Fri Jun 09, 2017 8:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The markets seem unconcerned by all this.
Both oil and natural gas prices have increased today, but only marginally.

Both commodities are trading at lower prices than in the recent past.

So are the markets wrong, or we worrying unduly about the ME ?
_________________
"Installers and owners of emergency diesels must assume that they will have to run for a week or more"
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
adam2
Site Admin


Joined: 02 Jul 2007
Posts: 6209
Location: North Somerset

PostPosted: Sat Jun 10, 2017 9:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Latest on the dispute between Qatar and neighbours, a possible flash point.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-40227247
_________________
"Installers and owners of emergency diesels must assume that they will have to run for a week or more"
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
adam2
Site Admin


Joined: 02 Jul 2007
Posts: 6209
Location: North Somerset

PostPosted: Wed Jun 14, 2017 1:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Natural gas prices have now dropped to a low for the year, suggesting a distinct lack of concern.
Oil prices largely unaltered.
_________________
"Installers and owners of emergency diesels must assume that they will have to run for a week or more"
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
adam2
Site Admin


Joined: 02 Jul 2007
Posts: 6209
Location: North Somerset

PostPosted: Sat Jun 24, 2017 1:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Qatar states that "demands made by neighbours are unreasonable"

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-40391224

Not sure if this represents any real escalation, or just traditional posturing.
_________________
"Installers and owners of emergency diesels must assume that they will have to run for a week or more"
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Lord Beria3



Joined: 25 Feb 2009
Posts: 4102
Location: Moscow Russia

PostPosted: Sat Jun 24, 2017 2:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2017/06/24/saud-j24.html

Quote:
Saudi Arabia and its allies have issued an extraordinary ultimatum to Qatar that sets the stage for a dramatic escalation of the confrontation that began with the imposition of a diplomatic and economic blockade in early June. Qatar has been given 10 days to agree to a sweeping list of 13 demands or face unspecified consequences. Acquiescence would transform the tiny, energy-rich Gulf state into a political vassal of Riyadh.

The demands, which were published yesterday, are a calculated provocation, which, as Saudi Arabia and its allies understand only too well, will almost certainly be rejected. According to the Associated Press (AP), Qatar’s neighbours are insisting that their demands are a bottom line—that is, non-negotiable—and are warning of further penalties beyond the existing restrictions on air, sea and land routes.

Yousef al-Otaiba, United Arab Emirates (UAE) ambassador to the US, told AP that there would be “no military element” to the sanctions on Qatar, but no credence can be placed in this assurance. The imposition of a blockade by Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the UAE and Bahrain is tantamount to an act of war and provides ample opportunity for a provocation that could precipitate military conflict.


Things are heating up in the Middle East.

Reminds me of Austria-Hungarian ultimatum to Serbia which triggered WW1.

Not sure how this crisis will evolve in the coming weeks.
_________________
Peace always has been and always will be an intermittent flash of light in a dark history of warfare, violence, and destruction
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Lord Beria3



Joined: 25 Feb 2009
Posts: 4102
Location: Moscow Russia

PostPosted: Sat Jun 24, 2017 8:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2017/06/24/watch-oil-price-spurred-higher-renewed-geopolitical-risk/

Quote:
As Helima Croft of RBC Capital Markets points out in a new note, Trump in the White House means that MBS will encounter minimum opposition from Washington and a far freer hand in pursuing his ambitions in the region. Arms deals to help him pursue them follow naturally.

The dangers are obvious – a newly empowered young prince unafraid, as we have seen in Yemen and now Qatar, to pursue regional conflict, emboldened by a world superpower.

_________________
Peace always has been and always will be an intermittent flash of light in a dark history of warfare, violence, and destruction
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
raspberry-blower



Joined: 14 Mar 2009
Posts: 1452

PostPosted: Sat Jun 24, 2017 10:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some more interesting analysis and discussion.
First up Moon of Alabama: Saudi Qatar Spat: An Offer to be Refused

Quote:
The Saudi ultimatum ends on July 3, the anniversary of the Saudi sponsored military coup against the Qatari backed Muslim Brotherhood government in Egypt. One demand in the ultimatum is for Qatar to end all support for the Brotherhood.

The ultimatum will likely be rejected. Qatar will simply not respond until the Saudis and others lift their blockade of the country. If the Saudis want war they should launch it right away, the Qatari ruler thinks. Doha is sure that the U.S. will not allow that. Ten-thousand U.S. troops are stationed in Qatar. It hosts a major U.S. air base and the important Central Command, which leads the war against ISIS and Syria. Qatar just bought U.S. fighter jets for $12 billion and is offering to take a 10% share of American Airlines.

Turkish troops have arrived to protect the sheikdom. One unexpected Saudi demand is that all Turkish troops leave Qatar. The Erdogan government, a Muslim Brotherhood branch, responded with a snippy "Make me do so":


A load of threats but will KSA actually follow through with their threats? After all the Saudi military has not performed with any great valour in Yemen - if anything quite the reverse.

A very informative discussion here:
The Real News Network: Historic rivalry for Regional Dominance at the heart of Saudi Qatar crisis
_________________
A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools - Douglas Adams.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
adam2
Site Admin


Joined: 02 Jul 2007
Posts: 6209
Location: North Somerset

PostPosted: Wed Jun 28, 2017 3:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

KSA refuses to negotiate according to Qatar.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-40428947

Looks a bit like ritual name calling and the trading of demands, but might of course lead to something more serious.
_________________
"Installers and owners of emergency diesels must assume that they will have to run for a week or more"
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Lord Beria3



Joined: 25 Feb 2009
Posts: 4102
Location: Moscow Russia

PostPosted: Wed Jun 28, 2017 8:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Adam2, I think you might be wrong this time.

MBS is in charge, a very different character, a bit of an Arabian Macron. He could take this all the way to war.

https://sputniknews.com/columnists/201706241054941082-saudi-house-of-cards-inside-story/

Quote:
This convoluted trail of events does corroborate the famous December 2015 memo by the BND – German intelligence, according to which the House of Saud had adopted “an impulsive policy of intervention”, with then Defense Minister and Deputy Crown Prince MBS, a “gambler”, bound to cause a lot of trouble.

_________________
Peace always has been and always will be an intermittent flash of light in a dark history of warfare, violence, and destruction
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
adam2
Site Admin


Joined: 02 Jul 2007
Posts: 6209
Location: North Somerset

PostPosted: Mon Jul 03, 2017 11:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Gulf sates give Qatar another 48 hours to comply with demands"

Not certain if this is a climb down "they did not do what we wanted so we will give them more time" or whether it is an escalation "keep up the pressure by issuing more threats"

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-40476821
_________________
"Installers and owners of emergency diesels must assume that they will have to run for a week or more"
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
adam2
Site Admin


Joined: 02 Jul 2007
Posts: 6209
Location: North Somerset

PostPosted: Wed Jul 05, 2017 5:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Update,

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-40510508
_________________
"Installers and owners of emergency diesels must assume that they will have to run for a week or more"
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    PowerSwitch Forum Index -> General Discussion All times are GMT + 1 Hour
Goto page 1, 2  Next
Page 1 of 2

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group