Awaiting the US presidential elections, the world of energy opens new scenarios

Awaiting the US presidential elections, the world of energy opens new scenarios

Marcello Vallese
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The US is split by the presidential vote, Iraq has new fields to be exploited and Singapore joins the IEA

The US presidential elections are approaching and the US energy world appears split over which candidate to support on November 4. According to an analysis of certified donations of workers in the industry carried out by Reuters, more than $114,000 have supported the Clinton campaign, while a "mere" $99,000 have gone to Trump. The figure is surprising if one considers that the democratic program includes more regulation, environmental controls as well as a wider use of renewables, all policies that the supporters of conventional fuels tend to traditionally judge negatively. Head of the American Natural Gas Producers’ Association Dave McCurdy explains this mistrust aroused by the Republican candidate: "I find many aspects of Trump's vision of trade, the economy and national security quite worrying." To balance things up, Harold Hamm, CEO of Continental Resources and a traditional Trump supporter, is in favour of the Republican mantra to expand drilling on US soil to restrict imports from the Middle East.
In terms of the market, in Iraq the Oil Ministry has opened the international auction to develop 12 smaller fields distributed in three central and southern provinces of the country. The procedural novelty lies in the direct negotiations that the ministry will engage in with each successful bidder. It is a radical change from the contracts signed in 2003 with the large international oil companies that guaranteed them a fixed price in dollars for each barrel produced. There are currently 19 companies in the race to win the new Iraqi fields, from Japan, the UAE, Kuwait, Italy, Switzerland, Romania, Russia, Vietnam, China, Indonesia and Thailand.
Lastly, the city-state of Singapore is, since yesterday, a new member of the IEA, the International Energy Agency. According to the country’s Minister of Industry and Trade Iswaran, "Singapore supports the new vision of inclusion of the emerging markets, especially in South-East Asia". This vision is summed up by the agency's director Fatih Birol: "We will work with Singapore to develop programs and activities that can transmit to their local authorities the benefits of a responsible use of energy and the opportunities that renewables are bringing around the world."