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Has the West lost control of oil? The Opec powers are forming new alliances

MBS is set on wooing China. Leon Neal/Getty Images

MBS is set on wooing China. Leon Neal/Getty Images


July 8, 2023   7 mins

Oil might be a source of power, but trying to control its price is a  politically hazardous business. Led by the odd pairing of the Saudi Crown Prince, Mohammad Bin Salman (MBS), and Vladimir Putin, the Opec Plus oil producers’ cartel exists to maintain a price floor for its fractious members in an energy environment where oil prices have crashed three times over the past two decades. But its importance in a geopolitical world defined by Sino-American competition is beginning to extend well beyond the gyrations of oil markets. Opec Plus has remained resilient even as the Beijing-Moscow-Tehran axis has hardened since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, as well as the recent Chinese-brokered rapprochement between Saudi Arabia and Iran. This raises questions about whether Saudi Arabia is now defecting into the anti-Washington camp.

Opec Plus was formed in rather different geopolitical circumstances. In late 2016, the cartel constituted a rapprochement between the two large, and hitherto generally antagonistic, Eurasian oil producers as they were adjusting to the shock of the United States’ re-emergence as a top-tier oil producer. Forging an association between Opec and Moscow was an act of Saudi desperation. For the previous two years, Riyadh had sought to bankrupt the American shale sector by allowing prices to slump, but largely succeeded only in emptying its own foreign exchange reserves. When they finally reversed course in September 2016, the Saudis found that, having alienated most other Opec members with their recklessness, they could no longer control prices. Two months later, Russia and 10 other states agreed to support a second Opec oil output cut, and Opec Plus was born.

Undoubtedly, some broader geopolitical convergence between Riyadh and Moscow against Washington followed over the next three years. When King Salman visited Putin in October 2017 — the first ever state visit of a Saudi monarch to Moscow — the two leaders discussed military co-operation and the possibility of the Saudis purchasing Russian arms. But however much the threat of American shale united Opec Plus, a large geopolitical fault line ran through the new producer alliance: while Russia had been moving closer to Iran since Moscow’s intervention in Syria in September 2015, Saudi Arabia had been engaged in a proxy war with Iran in Yemen since 2014.

When, in September 2019, Iran — either alone or acting with its Houthi allies in Yemen — destroyed the large Saudi oil processing facility at Abqaiq with drones and cruise missiles, that chasm was laid bare. While the Saudis were crushed by the failure of their Patriot missile defence system, bought at great expense from the Americans, Putin appeared with the Iranian president and mock-solemnly pronounced that Moscow could sell Riyadh protection that would actually work. Denying even that Tehran was responsible for the ambush, Putin said that Russia was “supportive of Iran, wholeheartedly”.

Only four months later, Opec Plus had to deal with its first serious oil market crisis, as China’s demand plummeted at the start of the pandemic. The Russian-Saudi compact splintered. Unable to agree with Putin on how much production to cut,  MBS sped off in the opposite direction, flooding the market in another bid to grab market share. In sending future prices into negative territory, MBS left it to Donald Trump, of all people, to patch Opec Plus together again — by threatening to withdraw American military support for Riyadh unless the Saudis and Russians agreed to slash output.

The Trump administration’s Abraham Accords, which saw the UAE and Bahrain normalise relations with Israel in September 2020, compounded the cartel’s lack of internal coherence on Middle Eastern matters. In oil terms, the Accords also appeared strategic: the UAE is the only member of Opec Plus other than Saudi Arabia with clear spare capacity, and Bahrain has been sitting on a known large offshore shale oil formation since 2018.

But for the past three years, events have conspired decidedly to strengthen Opec Plus. With the new Democratic administration in Washington unable to bring Iran into another nuclear deal in 2021, and post-pandemic growth in the shale sector nearly entirely concentrated in the Permian Basin, Biden, just eight months into office, had to ask Opec Plus to increase production. His trip to Riyadh the following summer for the same purpose yielded little. Indeed, in the months after Biden’s visit, Opec Plus appeared to toy with the American president, announcing a major production cut just weeks before the mid-term elections. Unable at any time during his presidency to influence the cartel, Biden has had to release so much reserve US oil that in March 2023 the Strategic Petroleum Reserve contained only 58% of what it did three years previously.

Russia’s war has only amplified the autonomy of the Arab members of Opec Plus, paradoxically by recasting China’s role in the oil market. From at least the time of the cartel’s inception, the Chinese leadership has wished to deepen its relations with all the major Middle Eastern oil producers. Most ambitiously, it reached an agreement with Iran in 2019 — formalised in 2021 — on a 25-year co-operation programme, which will see China make large investments in Iran’s oil and gas sector.

But prior to February 2022, China was also willing to act with other large consumer countries to counter Opec Plus’s influence on oil markets. Notably, when prices were rising in the second half of 2021, China agreed to co-ordinate withdrawals from its reserves with those Washington was then making. Now, Moscow’s war against Ukraine appears to have ended any structural rationale for Sino-American co-operation on oil. As China can benefit from discounted Russian crude, it does not share the American interest in forcing Opec Plus collectively to supply more oil to bring down Middle Eastern prices. Moreover, oil and gas security for China lies only in maintaining diversity of supply, and hence avoiding over-dependence on Russia. Therefore Beijing’s interest lies in preventing a bifurcation of the Opec Plus market between Asia and Europe, as well as reducing the vulnerability of passage of tankers through the Strait of Hormuz to Saudi-Iranian friction.

These changes have restructured Saudi choices in a world in which Washington expects its allies to take its side in the Sino-American conflict. In the tech war at least, Saudi Arabia has chosen to align with China. This reality was made very clear in December 2022, when MBS hosted Chinese Premier Xi Jinping in Riyadh for two China-Gulf summits. In finalising a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership Agreement, first mooted in 2019, the two states promised “firmly [to] support each other’s core interests”. Meanwhile Huawei struck a number of investment partnerships with Saudi firms. This year, Saudi Arabia appears to have begun applying this binary geopolitical logic to relations with its long-term regional antagonist Iran, allowing China to broker a rapprochement that has restored diplomatic ties between the two states after a seven-year break.

The Saudi shift has been replicated by other Arab members of Opec Plus, not least the two Abraham Accord states. In February 2022, the UAE agreed to buy fighter jets from China. Two months earlier, it had pulled out of a prior agreement to buy American F35s, struck as a side deal to the Abraham Accords, because it would not meet Washington’s demands over cutting out Huawei from its 5G infrastructure. Most strikingly, Bahrain has, under the umbrella of the Chinese-sponsored Saudi-Iran rapprochement, moved towards normalising relations with Iran — despite the fact that Iran has long had a territorially revisionist approach to the archipelago kingdom and backs the country’s opposition groups.

In the UAE’s case, closer relations with Tehran and Beijing are matched by deepening ties with Russia: in January this year, the US State Department sanctioned individuals and firms in the UAE with links to the Wagner Group, and Russian money has moved to the UAE to escape Western financial measures against Moscow. This Arab version of Obama’s attempted Pivot to Asia cannot but have at least some military ramifications in the Persian Gulf, given that Bahrain is host to the Fifth Fleet of the US Navy and US Naval Forces Central Command. Last May, the UAE withdrew from the US-led Combined Maritime Forces. A month later, reports surfaced in the Qatari press that China was co-ordinating naval collaboration between Saudi Arabia, Iran, the UAE, and Oman in the Persian Gulf.

Yet where this Saudi-led tilt to China leads geopolitically is still open to contest. The strength of the emerging anti-US Eurasian bloc can easily be overstated. There is no evidence that Washington intends to concede it naval dominance in the Persian Gulf or that China has the maritime power capacity to replace it. All the challenger-powers, including Saudi Arabia, are vulnerable to serious domestic political disorder. The scale of Saudi’s present additional oil capacity is far from clear. Indeed, the collective output of Opec Plus has been largely stagnant for the best part of two decades.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia is not taking China’s side on finance. Although Beijing may be pushing for the Saudis and other Opec Plus members to accept the renminbi as payment for oil and gas, there is no evidence that Saudi Arabia is moving to purchase their financial assets. By sharp contrast, when the United States moved towards a privileged relationship with Riyadh in the Seventies, to enhance its oil security, the Saudis did rapidly increase their dollar assets. Indeed, it is precisely the legacy of that financial turn to the United States, including the peg between the Saudi currency and the dollar, that constrains Saudi options in the financial and monetary space now.

Nonetheless, the Biden administration’s bet that the energy transition over the next two decades will reduce American oil demand enough to allow Saudi Arabia at least partially to drift is likely to be sorely tested. While the International Energy Agency judges that the most significant extra output over the next five years will come from outside Opec Plus, it also predicts that the Middle Eastern members of the cartel will dominate medium- to long-term oil production as the shale fields are depleted. Even if electric vehicle usage soars, any sizeable reduction in oil consumption in the medium term requires substitutes for petrochemicals.

In this scenario, Saudi Arabia has a resource that will probably be more important to the United States in the 2030s than it is now. Consequently, the largest Gulf producer and its Arab allies may have options in navigating between the respective pulls of the United States and China that other states, without a crucial commodity to export, do not possess. But the degree of energy unknowns in play, and the resilience of American financial power, mean that hedging between economic gain and security alliances is still a high-risk strategy. In this turbulent geopolitical world, this Saudi dilemma can only make the Persian Gulf a direct site of the rapidly-spreading Sino-American competition.


Helen Thompson is Professor of Political Economy at the University of Cambridge and co-presenter of UnHerd’s These Times.

HelenHet20

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Arthur G
Arthur G
1 year ago

If the West gets over the net zero death wish, the US, Canada, and North Sea can produce enough oil to supply everyone for 100 years. Drill baby drill!, Frack baby frack! And while you’re at it, build nuclear power plants.

Martin Butler
Martin Butler
1 year ago
Reply to  Arthur G

Yes, all this climate change stuff is complete nonsense. And what about China?

Peter Johnson
Peter Johnson
1 year ago
Reply to  Arthur G

Canada also has lots of uranium and our dingbat Federal government is finally waking up to the fact that nuclear is the only viable path to net zero.

Rob C
Rob C
1 year ago
Reply to  Arthur G

I see nothing in the future to make them do that, though.

Andrew F
Andrew F
1 year ago
Reply to  Arthur G

But West has no desire to follow your perfectly logical path.

Martin Butler
Martin Butler
1 year ago
Reply to  Arthur G

Yes, all this climate change stuff is complete nonsense. And what about China?

Peter Johnson
Peter Johnson
1 year ago
Reply to  Arthur G

Canada also has lots of uranium and our dingbat Federal government is finally waking up to the fact that nuclear is the only viable path to net zero.

Rob C
Rob C
1 year ago
Reply to  Arthur G

I see nothing in the future to make them do that, though.

Andrew F
Andrew F
1 year ago
Reply to  Arthur G

But West has no desire to follow your perfectly logical path.

Arthur G
Arthur G
1 year ago

If the West gets over the net zero death wish, the US, Canada, and North Sea can produce enough oil to supply everyone for 100 years. Drill baby drill!, Frack baby frack! And while you’re at it, build nuclear power plants.

J Bryant
J Bryant
1 year ago

I have no other comment except to congratulate the author on such a scholarly article. Geopolitics is three-dimensional chess indeed.

Jon Hawksley
Jon Hawksley
1 year ago
Reply to  J Bryant

Agreed – the third dimension being a third player who can move the pieces around on a whim.

Campbell P
Campbell P
1 year ago
Reply to  J Bryant

Scholarly, yes; but she paints a picture without a number of key pieces of the jigsaw: so it is difficult to give the article, however well written, much credence with regard to its predictions and proffered options.

Jon Hawksley
Jon Hawksley
1 year ago
Reply to  J Bryant

Agreed – the third dimension being a third player who can move the pieces around on a whim.

Campbell P
Campbell P
1 year ago
Reply to  J Bryant

Scholarly, yes; but she paints a picture without a number of key pieces of the jigsaw: so it is difficult to give the article, however well written, much credence with regard to its predictions and proffered options.

J Bryant
J Bryant
1 year ago

I have no other comment except to congratulate the author on such a scholarly article. Geopolitics is three-dimensional chess indeed.

Steve White
Steve White
1 year ago

The commenters who’ve written so far rightly see the necessity of oil and gas. Energy is crucial to manufacturing, and manufacturing (labor-centric) economies focused on diplomacy, trade, and multipolarism are on the rise above capital-centric corporate-centric globalism, and economic hegemony.
In fact, the real issue is not simply oil, but the eventual demise of the Petro-dollar. Once the BRICS currency gets going it will spell the end of the US dollar as the worlds reserve currency. Right now BRICS+ and the SCO are working with development banks with eyes on working with the global South to create bonds linked to a new gold and commodities backed BRICS trading currency.
 Nations would be able to trade with each other in their own currencies, and equity backing of the trades would not insist that they hold US dollar treasury bonds the way it works in the world now, but this new BRICS currency.
This means sanctions will never work again. Endless wars, color revolutions, divide and rule with the US dominated rules-based economic order will not succeed in the future.
We are in late-stage hyper-financed global corporatism, and the politically imposed trojan horse called “free trade” (verses tariffs that protect citizen workers within each sovereign nation).
Right now I see this Ukraine war, and their desire to make war with China as their last grasp at power and economic domination. This is the end of the Bretton Woods economic model settled on after WWII. 

Last edited 1 year ago by Steve White
TheElephant InTheRoom
TheElephant InTheRoom
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve White

100% spot on.

Peter Lee
Peter Lee
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve White

“This means sanctions will never work again”. Did they ever?

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter Lee

They (sanctions)*managed to provoke the idiotic Japanese to attack Pearl Harbour in 1941.

(*Particularly the Oil ones.)

Andrew F
Andrew F
1 year ago

Well, it brought 70 years of American dominance.
At some cost, but so what.
Now USA is dismantling Russia.
Happy days.
There are issues of course, but in comparison to other main powers USA is doing OK.

Andrew F
Andrew F
1 year ago

Well, it brought 70 years of American dominance.
At some cost, but so what.
Now USA is dismantling Russia.
Happy days.
There are issues of course, but in comparison to other main powers USA is doing OK.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter Lee

They (sanctions)*managed to provoke the idiotic Japanese to attack Pearl Harbour in 1941.

(*Particularly the Oil ones.)

jlhaggerty
jlhaggerty
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve White

BRICS currency will be a long time coming. The Euro should show how that works for individual economies like the Eastern and Southern countries in the EU. They are much more aligned that Brazil, India and China on policy and economic status. India using a currency that benefits China…I’ll believe it when I see it…and who plays the role of the EU Central bank and decides policy for such a currency?

Andrew F
Andrew F
1 year ago
Reply to  jlhaggerty

Great post.
You need to be hit by a bric to believe all this BRIC nonsense.

Andrew F
Andrew F
1 year ago
Reply to  jlhaggerty

Great post.
You need to be hit by a bric to believe all this BRIC nonsense.

TheElephant InTheRoom
TheElephant InTheRoom
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve White

100% spot on.

Peter Lee
Peter Lee
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve White

“This means sanctions will never work again”. Did they ever?

jlhaggerty
jlhaggerty
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve White

BRICS currency will be a long time coming. The Euro should show how that works for individual economies like the Eastern and Southern countries in the EU. They are much more aligned that Brazil, India and China on policy and economic status. India using a currency that benefits China…I’ll believe it when I see it…and who plays the role of the EU Central bank and decides policy for such a currency?

Steve White
Steve White
1 year ago

The commenters who’ve written so far rightly see the necessity of oil and gas. Energy is crucial to manufacturing, and manufacturing (labor-centric) economies focused on diplomacy, trade, and multipolarism are on the rise above capital-centric corporate-centric globalism, and economic hegemony.
In fact, the real issue is not simply oil, but the eventual demise of the Petro-dollar. Once the BRICS currency gets going it will spell the end of the US dollar as the worlds reserve currency. Right now BRICS+ and the SCO are working with development banks with eyes on working with the global South to create bonds linked to a new gold and commodities backed BRICS trading currency.
 Nations would be able to trade with each other in their own currencies, and equity backing of the trades would not insist that they hold US dollar treasury bonds the way it works in the world now, but this new BRICS currency.
This means sanctions will never work again. Endless wars, color revolutions, divide and rule with the US dominated rules-based economic order will not succeed in the future.
We are in late-stage hyper-financed global corporatism, and the politically imposed trojan horse called “free trade” (verses tariffs that protect citizen workers within each sovereign nation).
Right now I see this Ukraine war, and their desire to make war with China as their last grasp at power and economic domination. This is the end of the Bretton Woods economic model settled on after WWII. 

Last edited 1 year ago by Steve White
John Riordan
John Riordan
1 year ago

But why on earth would anyone be surprised that the West loses its monopsony power over a commodity that it has collectively declared to be an enemy of the planet and one which it intends to stop using as quickly as possible?

Did we expect the Arabs just to stop drilling and go back to the nomadic lives of a century ago? That they would ignore the demand for oil by rest of the world? What we’ve done with the Ukraine War is use Russia as a case study in how to cope with the loss of Western demand for hydrocarbons.

If this has come as a shock to anyone, they need to wake up. Perhaps then the West might avoid the completely unforced error of surrendering its present leadership position in the global economy to rising powers such as China, who depsite being supposedly authoritarian regimes, seem to care a great deal more about their own peoples’ interests than the various charlatans presently leading western nations.

John Riordan
John Riordan
1 year ago

But why on earth would anyone be surprised that the West loses its monopsony power over a commodity that it has collectively declared to be an enemy of the planet and one which it intends to stop using as quickly as possible?

Did we expect the Arabs just to stop drilling and go back to the nomadic lives of a century ago? That they would ignore the demand for oil by rest of the world? What we’ve done with the Ukraine War is use Russia as a case study in how to cope with the loss of Western demand for hydrocarbons.

If this has come as a shock to anyone, they need to wake up. Perhaps then the West might avoid the completely unforced error of surrendering its present leadership position in the global economy to rising powers such as China, who depsite being supposedly authoritarian regimes, seem to care a great deal more about their own peoples’ interests than the various charlatans presently leading western nations.

Christopher Barclay
Christopher Barclay
1 year ago

What is missing in this article is mention of who was US President at the various times. Trump and his Jewish son-in-law was close to MBS. Biden in contrast labelled MBS a murderer. MBS knows that the result of next year’s election is highly uncertain. He does want to burn his bridges with the US if Biden’s replacement is MBS friendly.
Another reason for the Saudis and others not siding with China (as opposed to having a foot in both camps) is the assets they hold in the US and to a lesser extent European countries. They have watched how easy it is for Western governments to strip the holders of these assets.

James 0
James 0
11 months ago

The article talks about the Trump administration, the Abraham Accords, and the Biden administration’s ineffectiveness. Did you even bother to read it?

James 0
James 0
11 months ago

The article talks about the Trump administration, the Abraham Accords, and the Biden administration’s ineffectiveness. Did you even bother to read it?

Christopher Barclay
Christopher Barclay
1 year ago

What is missing in this article is mention of who was US President at the various times. Trump and his Jewish son-in-law was close to MBS. Biden in contrast labelled MBS a murderer. MBS knows that the result of next year’s election is highly uncertain. He does want to burn his bridges with the US if Biden’s replacement is MBS friendly.
Another reason for the Saudis and others not siding with China (as opposed to having a foot in both camps) is the assets they hold in the US and to a lesser extent European countries. They have watched how easy it is for Western governments to strip the holders of these assets.

eric james
eric james
1 year ago

Excellent information.I feel better informed
Net zero is hurting.We would all like cleaner air but setting impossible targets is ruining us.

eric james
eric james
1 year ago

Excellent information.I feel better informed
Net zero is hurting.We would all like cleaner air but setting impossible targets is ruining us.

Prashant Kotak
Prashant Kotak
1 year ago

That picture….

https://youtu.be/yzd2OYdqlh4

Last edited 1 year ago by Prashant Kotak
Prashant Kotak
Prashant Kotak
1 year ago

That picture….

https://youtu.be/yzd2OYdqlh4

Last edited 1 year ago by Prashant Kotak
Jonathan Nash
Jonathan Nash
1 year ago

Thanks for this – very interesting.

Jonathan Nash
Jonathan Nash
1 year ago

Thanks for this – very interesting.

Brendan O'Leary
Brendan O'Leary
1 year ago

When exactly did The West have control over oil?

Maybe for the brief period that USA was fracking more than just the West Texas Permian?

Brendan O'Leary
Brendan O'Leary
1 year ago

When exactly did The West have control over oil?

Maybe for the brief period that USA was fracking more than just the West Texas Permian?

Mark Kennedy
Mark Kennedy
1 year ago

I have a philosophy M.A., but reading Husserl’s Logical Investigations is child’s play compared with trying to follow the convolutions of the competing interests involved here. You’d think ensuring affordable energy for your home population would qualify as keeping your eye on the ball when it comes to oil pricing and distribution; but, no, balancing the demands of allies who are at cross-purposes with each other over a myriad of unrelated issues, and figuring out the right mixture of conciliation, threats and bluster necessary for keeping them from behaving self-destructively, is the name of the game. It’s a game in which the short-and long-term interests of a bewildering variety of governmental, religious and corporate players frequently reveal themselves to be utterly opposed; and if anyone has managed to infer from this article just what might count as finally winning it, please share.

Mark Kennedy
Mark Kennedy
1 year ago

I have a philosophy M.A., but reading Husserl’s Logical Investigations is child’s play compared with trying to follow the convolutions of the competing interests involved here. You’d think ensuring affordable energy for your home population would qualify as keeping your eye on the ball when it comes to oil pricing and distribution; but, no, balancing the demands of allies who are at cross-purposes with each other over a myriad of unrelated issues, and figuring out the right mixture of conciliation, threats and bluster necessary for keeping them from behaving self-destructively, is the name of the game. It’s a game in which the short-and long-term interests of a bewildering variety of governmental, religious and corporate players frequently reveal themselves to be utterly opposed; and if anyone has managed to infer from this article just what might count as finally winning it, please share.

Jon Hawksley
Jon Hawksley
1 year ago

With oil the low cost producers that export have the whip hand but it could have been very different if the large importers had embraced a progressive carbon tax twenty years ago. It would have given a predictability on consumer prices that would have promoted alternative energy supplies earlier, depressed producer prices, generated substantial tax income to fund the transition. It might have actually resulted in stable and on average lower oil prices for consumers. Even if prices had been higher it would have been more than offset by moving wealth from the governments of the exporting countries to the governments of consuming countries. Accelerating diversification of energy sources would have increased self-sufficiency increasing geopolitical bargaining power. Instead we have sanctimonious carbon offsets, “Just stop oil” and sanctions that do exactly the opposite of what is intended. A carbon tax would have made sense irrespective of any impact on climate change.

Last edited 1 year ago by Jon Hawksley
Jon Hawksley
Jon Hawksley
1 year ago

With oil the low cost producers that export have the whip hand but it could have been very different if the large importers had embraced a progressive carbon tax twenty years ago. It would have given a predictability on consumer prices that would have promoted alternative energy supplies earlier, depressed producer prices, generated substantial tax income to fund the transition. It might have actually resulted in stable and on average lower oil prices for consumers. Even if prices had been higher it would have been more than offset by moving wealth from the governments of the exporting countries to the governments of consuming countries. Accelerating diversification of energy sources would have increased self-sufficiency increasing geopolitical bargaining power. Instead we have sanctimonious carbon offsets, “Just stop oil” and sanctions that do exactly the opposite of what is intended. A carbon tax would have made sense irrespective of any impact on climate change.

Last edited 1 year ago by Jon Hawksley
TheElephant InTheRoom
TheElephant InTheRoom
1 year ago

The West and the geniuses across the pond may have coined BRICS, but the BRICS+++ are having the last laugh now…

TheElephant InTheRoom
TheElephant InTheRoom
1 year ago

The West and the geniuses across the pond may have coined BRICS, but the BRICS+++ are having the last laugh now…

ofir
ofir
1 year ago

Is it worth mentioning that Iran and Russia are scum?
The USA has tons of skeletons, but … Seriously.
Just get over this petrol centered world already, it has to be replaced regardless of these geopolitical sitcoms; it’s just obsolete. Get on with it

Brendan O'Leary
Brendan O'Leary
1 year ago
Reply to  ofir

These kind of phoney fait-accomplis are laughable.
The most obvious mistake is that wind and solar requires more use of gas, not less, to counter the intermittency introduced to the grid by these sources.

Brendan O'Leary
Brendan O'Leary
1 year ago
Reply to  ofir

These kind of phoney fait-accomplis are laughable.
The most obvious mistake is that wind and solar requires more use of gas, not less, to counter the intermittency introduced to the grid by these sources.

ofir
ofir
1 year ago

Is it worth mentioning that Iran and Russia are scum?
The USA has tons of skeletons, but … Seriously.
Just get over this petrol centered world already, it has to be replaced regardless of these geopolitical sitcoms; it’s just obsolete. Get on with it

Max Rottersman
Max Rottersman
1 year ago

I feel like Ms. Thompson promised to show me a new world in the Middle East but all I got was one of those boring and meandering lectures at an academic conference.
MBS has said, “f**k you, United States. I’m not playing my Dad’s game.”
C’mon Ms. Thompson. Don’t count the silverware. Don’t gossip about who you saw talking to who in the library. When is the U.S. going to send a missile up MBS’s ass 😉 That’s what we want to know!

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
1 year ago
Reply to  Max Rottersman

Hopefully ASAP.
MBS is a far more odious fellow than say Mr Bashar al-Assad for example.

Last edited 1 year ago by Charles Stanhope
Max Rottersman
Max Rottersman
1 year ago

So many thumbs down on my comment. Where’s everyone’s sense of humor 😉

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
1 year ago
Reply to  Max Rottersman

I completely agree
.bonkers!

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
1 year ago
Reply to  Max Rottersman

I completely agree
.bonkers!

Max Rottersman
Max Rottersman
1 year ago

So many thumbs down on my comment. Where’s everyone’s sense of humor 😉

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
1 year ago
Reply to  Max Rottersman

Hopefully ASAP.
MBS is a far more odious fellow than say Mr Bashar al-Assad for example.

Last edited 1 year ago by Charles Stanhope
Max Rottersman
Max Rottersman
1 year ago

I feel like Ms. Thompson promised to show me a new world in the Middle East but all I got was one of those boring and meandering lectures at an academic conference.
MBS has said, “f**k you, United States. I’m not playing my Dad’s game.”
C’mon Ms. Thompson. Don’t count the silverware. Don’t gossip about who you saw talking to who in the library. When is the U.S. going to send a missile up MBS’s ass 😉 That’s what we want to know!