U.S. Says It Won’t ‘Take’ Iraq’s Oil As Russia Expands Influence

Oil Engineer

 

Less than a day after U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis contradicted Trump’s oft-repeated maxim that we should have taken Iraq’s oil, Russia has moved to expand its footprint in the region with a new oil deal in Iraqi Kurdistan.

Russian state-owned Rosneft PJSC has announced that not only will it purchase Kurdish crude until 2019, but it is also studying exploration and production opportunities there. The deal was announced at the same time that Russia moved to expand its footprint in Libya in a second deal designed to gain more control in the Middle East. Continue reading

The Russian banking sector is about to implode

(REUTERS/China Daily)Hundreds of Russian banks have no choice but to close down, merge or be acquired by larger rivals as a result of mismanagement, experts told Bloomberg.

The country has more than 820 lenders, a staggering number of which have a high ratio of bad loans on their balance sheets. Many will soon disappear.

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Russia and China plan own rating agency to rival western players

Russia and China have agreed to set up a joint rating agency as Moscow’s stand-off with the west over Ukraine has made it more eager to establish institutions that would reduce its dependence on the U.S. and Europe.

“In the beginning, the agency will assess Russian-Chinese investment projects with a view to attracting of [investors from] a number of Asian countries,” Anton Siluanov, Russia’s finance minister, said in Beijing, according to his ministry. “Gradually, based on the progress and authority of such an agency, we believe it will rise to a level where its opinions will attract other countries.” Continue reading