Politics, Geopolitics & Conflict
While the battle rages on in Sudan between the military and a paramilitary group called the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), the big question for oil market observers is whether the fighting will negatively impact land-locked South Sudan’s oil exports. For now, this remains secure because the two fighting sides need it to be so, and they have largely divided up these spoils indirectly, with the RSF said to control one of the country’s two refineries (Al Jaili), while the Sudanese military controls the other. The RSF seized this reinsert in late April, along with a major power plant next door. There is no desire to disrupt South Sudan’s oil. The goal is to control the energy resources for leverage.
Russia and Iran have signed a deal to build a railway as part of a transport corridor the two countries say could rival the Suez Canal. The deal for the financing and construction of the North-South part of what has been named the Rasht-Astara railway will connect India and Azerbaijan to Iran and Russia via both rail and sea; hence the veiled threat to Western oil markets that this would rival the Suez Canal. This comes as tensions heat up in the Persian Gulf with tit-for-tat seizures of oil tankers by Iran and the U.S. Earlier this week, Iran seized a third tanker while Washington worked to boost its naval presence in the Gulf region.
Rival prime minister Fatih Bashagha’s days are numbered. This week, Libya’s…