Iran readying massive military exercise in Persian Gulf, officials say

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Washington (CNN)Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard is expected to soon begin a major naval exercise that could demonstrate its ability to shut down the Strait of Hormuz, a crucial conduit for global energy supplies, US officials say.

The exercise in the Persian Gulf could begin as soon as the next two days, according to two US officials directly familiar with the latest assessment of the Revolutionary Guard’s troop movements.

America’s Energy Edge: The Geopolitical Consequences of the Shale Revolution

Is America’s shale-based energy revolution having at least one expected effect? Yes, say Robert Blackwill and Meghan O’Sullivan. In the case of global energy production, it’s facilitating a gradual shift away from traditional suppliers in Eurasia and the Middle East.

Only five years ago, the world’s supply of oil appeared to be peaking, and as conventional gas production declined in the United States, it seemed that the country would become dependent on costly natural gas imports. But in the years since, those predictions have proved spectacularly wrong. Global energy production has begun to shift away from traditional suppliers in Eurasia and the Middle East, as producers tap unconventional gas and oil resources around the world, from the waters of Australia, Brazil, Africa, and the Mediterranean to the oil sands of Alberta. The greatest revolution, however, has taken place in the United States, where producers have taken advantage of two newly viable technologies to unlock resources once deemed commercially infeasible: horizontal drilling, which allows wells to penetrate bands of shale deep underground, and hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, which uses the injection of high-pressure fluid to release gas and oil from rock formations. Continue reading