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  • Iraq: Ten Years after the US-Led Invasion

    The US has spent over a trillion and a half dollars and this huge expenditure has nearly unhinged its domestic economic equilibrium. At the strategic level the results for the US have been even more disconcerting in terms of Iraq's Shiite-led government refusing to let US troops stay on as well as extending support for fellow Shiites in Syria.

    March 20, 2013

    The Iran-Pakistan Pipeline: Pressler 2.0?

    The Pakistanis are playing a high-stakes gamble, one in which they think the odds are stacked in their favour in a way that while they stand to gain a lot even if things don’t quite work in the way they imagine they won’t end up losing too much.

    March 12, 2013

    Peak Oil and Implications for India

    The basic point is that crude oil is a finite resource. Hence, the issue is not ‘if’ crude oil peaks and availability declines, but ‘when’ it peaks and starts its decline. Peak oil is the theoretical point in time at which oil production peaks and begins to fall. Here we refer only to peaking of conventional oil.

    January 2013

    India struggling to cope with sanctions on Iran

    The Indian government is now weighing several options to manoeuvre around the ever-tightening sanctions, including the provision of sovereign guarantees to oil tanker operators.

    June 26, 2012

    China’s Strategic Petroleum Reserves: A Reality Check

    While maintaining a reserve of 100 days worth of imported petroleum consumption at present consumption rates may be the stated policy of the Chinese government, an analysis of the existing capacities seems to suggest that China may be in a position to store much larger strategic oil reserves should it so desire.

    May 21, 2012

    Going Beyond the Public Statement on Iranian Oil

    Having rejected the western demand for oil sanctions, the real test for the Indian government lies in whether it can implement its public pronouncement.

    February 09, 2012

    EU Oil embargo on Iran—China is now the pivot

    All China has to do is to purchase Iranian oil and off-set this against a supply of essential consumer goods from China to Iran and settle the accounts in Chinese Yuan.

    January 30, 2012

    The Persian Gulf Cul-de-Sac

    With growing tensions between the US and Iran leading to a drawing of maritime red lines, the Iranian threat to close the straits of Hormuz and the US response could affect future maritime issues, oil supplies and the world economy.

    January 12, 2012

    Harsha AH asked: Even though Iran was willing to accept the payment for India’s oil imports in the Indian currency, why did India declined from doing so?

    Shebonti Ray Dadwal replies: According to reports, Iran is willing to accept payments in rupee for the crude it sells to India but the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is opposing the idea. Iran's central bank had expressed their vote of confidence in the rupee during their meeting with RBI executives, where they said that they were ready to operate through a State Bank of India (SBI) branch in Mumbai where state oil firms can make rupee payments. But RBI is against this arrangement on the ground of high trade imbalance between the two countries. Iran imports goods from India worth only $1 billion against the huge amount New Delhi pays for its oil. Also, many Indian banks do business with the US and are wary of coming under the US sanctions.

    However, recently it appears that some smaller Indian national banks are being used to make payments to Iran, such as the UCO, Union Bank, etc. In mid-January 2012, a finance ministry team from India will be in Tehran for talks to resolve the payment issue, where some innovative ideas on how barter trade can be conducted on the lines of China-Iran and Iran-South Korea trade may be discussed.

    Mapping Chinese Oil and Gas Pipelines and Sea Routes

    China is pursuing an energy policy to alleviate its import dependence, diversify the sources and routes of imported oil and prepare for supply disruption. China's import of hydrocarbons is growing rapidly. Besides sea transport from West Asia and other oil rich countries of both crude and liquefied natural gas, China has also identified diverse import routes for oil and gas by overland pipelines. Some projects are now complete and many are under construction or in the planning stage.

    July 2011