Organization of Petroleum-Exporting Countries

Oil Prices, the IEA, and the Long-Term Effects of Oil Shocks
June 23, 2011

Today, the International Energy Agency (IEA) announced that, because of disruptions in the oil supply caused by the war in Libya, it will release 60 million barrels of oil from emergency reserves. The move drew harsh criticism from OPEC, which warned that a sudden increase in the supply of oil would lower prices to a level harmful to oil producers.

How to Topple Qaddafi
May 27, 2011

The defection of Libyan oil czar Shukri Ghanem has reignited hope that Muammar Qaddafi’s regime is inching toward collapse. Yet this supposedly “high-level defection” was anything but. Ghanem, the chairman of the National Oil Corporation, was a marginal, American-educated technocrat recruited to ingratiate Libya with an international community suspicious of the eccentric Qaddafi and wary of his 20 years of support for terrorist groups.

Oil Prices and the Economy, Then and Now
May 06, 2011

After sinking on Thursday, oil prices recovered Friday, climbing back over $100 a barrel. A stronger-than-predicted jobs report fueled expectations of a stronger economy, and more demand for oil. Still, high prices on the exchanges mean high gas prices, which have been something of a tradition every summer since the OPEC embargo in 1973. But are high prices at the pump as economically damaging as they used to be? No, according to economists at MIT and the University of Rome.

Inequality is a Symptom, and More Years in School May Not Be the Cure
September 05, 2010

Raghuram G. Rajan has an excellent piece up on TNR’s website (“Let them Eat Credit”). Without trying to do too much violence to his argument, I would summarize it as follows: Growing income inequality in the United States has done tremendous damage to our economy. The most important cause for this inequality (supported by well-known research by Goldin and Katz) is that, although technological progress requires the labor force to have ever greater skills, our educational system has not kept pace by providing the labor force with greater sufficiently improved human capital.

April 21, 2010

The words most often used by the heads of oil companies to describe the boom are “revolution” and “game changer.” Industry historian Daniel Yergin calls it “the shale gale.” Admittedly, serious questions remain as to whether shale gas will pass the ecological test—critics say it can’t be extracted safely in proximity to groundwater, and the EPA is engaged in a two-year study of extraction techniques.

Slideshow: Tiny Island Nations Get Tough
December 17, 2009

It's certainly not the new OPEC but, at the Copenhagen Climate Conference, a plucky bloc of low-lying oceanic nations has been exerting outsize influence over the developed world. The Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS), whose members are among the most vulnerable to climate change, is threatening to torpedo talks in lieu of dramatic emissions cuts. Just who are these countries? How are they making the world listen? Click through this TNR slideshow to find out.

Today's Dispatch From Planet Krauthammer
December 11, 2009

The increasingly nutty columnist unearths a novel historical counterfactual: In the 1970s and early '80s, having seized control of the U.N. apparatus (by power of numbers), Third World countries decided to cash in. OPEC was pulling off the greatest wealth transfer from rich to poor in history. Why not them? So in grand U.N.

Who's Who At The Copenhagen Talks
December 07, 2009

The New York Times compiled a nice little graphic of the different countries and blocs of countries at the Copenhagen summit, laying out how much carbon each group emits (interesting tidbit: The handful of OPEC countries emit twice as many greenhouse gases each year—6 percent of the world's total—as the entire continent of Africa) and what their demands are in the climate-treaty talks. Worth a look.

Three Ways The Copenhagen Talks Could Succeed (Or Go Bust)
December 03, 2009

Given that there's virtually no chance a finished climate treaty will come out of the upcoming talks in Copenhagen, one might be forgiven for asking what, exactly, the world's diplomats are actually going to do these next two weeks in Denmark. Already, further talks are scheduled for next year—including yet another big climate summit in Mexico City in 2010.

The Saudis Expect Us to Pay for Oil We Don't Buy
October 14, 2009

Yes, you read it right. Here is the essence: If the Saudis (and other OPEC producers) export fewer hydrocarbons, the buyers should still pay as if they were purchasing the old amount. They should pay what the Saudis could charge when the market was tight and the demand high, and the arrangements should not made in the Arab bazaar, but by treaty. It's a nice world that Riyadh lives in. Perhaps this is King Abdullah's gracious response to President Obama's servile bow. "Less global warming would be good, right?" ask Jad Mouawad and Andrew C. Revkin in a report in Tuesday's Times.