Will China take over US as the top Superpower

 

QUESTION: I read a credible theory recently about China taking over US as the top superpower via economic pressures. Namely by replacing the US dollar with the Yuan as the standard currency for international trade. This shift is (supposedly) being enacted through 1) increased control over Developing countries through international lending from the New Development Bank, 2) increasing control over global oil via financial ties to Saudi Aramco and Russia’s Rosneft, 3) trying to denominate global oil transactions in Yuan through the Shanghai oil futures market & backing up the Yuan value with the massive gold reserves China has been accumulating.

My question is whether you see this strategy unfolding as a credible threat to usurping United States’ global domination by China and if so – what might the investment world look like during such a massive upheaval? Continue reading

Saudis take 100% control of America’s largest oil refinery

Please see the source for the video.

 

America’s largest oil refinery is now fully owned by Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Aramco, the kingdom’s state-owned oil behemoth, took 100% control of the sprawling Port Arthur refinery in Texas on Monday, completing a deal that was first announced last year. Continue reading

Saudis’ upcoming trip to China sends strong signal to US

© Getty Images

 

King Salman Bin Abdul-Aziz of Saudi Arabia is leading an entourage, including 25 senior princes and 10 ministers, to China later this month, part of a month-long tour of the Asia-Pacific, as the kingdom is seeking to hedge against an unpredictable and divided White House.

While it yearns for a renewed American role in the Middle East and reassurances from President Trump that Riyadh remains an ally, Saudi Arabia now faces a period of uncertainty due to the unpredictability of Trump’s foreign policy stance. That reason alone could explain why a trip to Beijing was planned before a trip to Washington.

Despite its efforts at economic diversification, Saudi Arabia will remain dependent on oil exports for a long time, and China provides the kingdom with a stable market for its energy exports for decades to come. Continue reading

Saudi King Goes East In Search Of Friends And Cash

 

The Saudi King kicked off a month-long tour of Asia this week, as the oil kingdom looks to bolster ties in the east as it loses confidence in the U.S. as a stable ally.

The trip began in Malaysia where King Salman inked a $7 billion deal, promising to invest in a Malaysian petrochemical complex run by state-owned oil company Petronas. From there, he will tour Indonesia, Brunei, Japan, China and the Maldives. Continue reading

Russia Gains Upper Hand In Asian Oil War

The Saudi-led OPEC cuts may have supported oil prices and reduced market volatility, but they have also opened the door wide to rival crude grades flowing into the most prized market for the Middle Eastern producers: Asia.

Reduced supplies by OPEC resulted in higher prices for Middle Eastern crude benchmark Dubai and a narrower Brent/Dubai spread, which made the shipment of Brent-price-linked crude grades to Asia profitable. Continue reading

Are The Saudis About To Reveal The Best Kept Secret In Oil?

One of the oil world’s longest and best kept secrets may finally be revealed. Saudi Arabia is preparing to unveil how much oil it holds, a closely guarded state secret that has been kept quiet for decades.

The decision to bring such important data to light comes as Saudi Aramco is preparing to partially privatize its assets, an IPO that could bring in some $100 billion. The IPO will be a monumental event, one that the Wall Street Journal says could offer Wall Street some of the largest fees in history. Continue reading

Saudis Aim To Create The World’s Biggest Oil Fleet

Saudi Arabia aims to create the world’s largest fleet of oil tankers following the establishment of a new US $1.5 billion investment fund by Arab Petroleum Investment Corporation, (Apicorp), and National Shipping Corporation of Saudi Arabia (Bahri).

Under the Apicorp Bahri Oil Shipping Fund venture announced yesterday, fifteen very large crude carriers (VLCCs) would be added to the shipper’s expected fleet of nearly fifty such vessels over the next two years. Bahri currently owns 36 VLCCs and plans to add ten more by 2018. Continue reading

Does Iran Have The Upper Hand In OPEC Oil War

Traditional rivals, Saudi Arabia and Iran, continue to fight to prove their supremacy in OPEC. Neither gives up an opportunity to hurt the other, whenever and wherever they can, and oil seems to be their favourite playground.

With Saudi Arabia scuttling any chances of a production freeze in Doha in April, Iran has followed suit by thwarting attempts by Saudi Arabia to introduce a production ceiling on OPEC production in Thursday’s meeting held in Vienna.

Iran, which is close to its pre-sanction levels of production, had earlier agreed to discuss being part of any production freeze after it reached its desired output. However, in yesterday’s meeting, Iran refused to adhere to any production ceiling, which led to OPEC abandoning the idea. Continue reading

Moody’s Ponders Credit Downgrades for 120 Energy Companies

Oil prices received a jolt on January 21 and 22, as a cavalcade of bullish news conspired to push oil prices back into the $30s per barrel. The markets got excited at the possibility of more aggressive action from the European Central Bank on Thursday after comments from Mario Draghi, the bank’s president.Also, several voices weighed on oil prices, raising the questions about the unreasonable decline below $30 per barrel. The head of state-owned Saudi Aramco said that oil prices below $30 per barrel was “irrational,” and that he expected prices to rebound this year. Separately, Citigroup said that oil could be “the trade of the year,” because a price increase is nearly assured. After all, prices cannot go much lower, can they? Continue reading

Iran Rapidly Building Cyber Warfare Capabilities

Highlighted in teal below is a perfect example of grey terror during the ‘overture’ phase, as described in Soviet defector Viktor Suvorov’s book “Spetsnaz. The Story Behind the Soviet SAS” in chapter 15, Spetsnaz’s First World War.

Here’s a lengthy exerpt:

In Washington, as the President’s helicopter is taking off, several shots are fired at it from sniper’s rifles. The helicopter is only slightly damaged and the crew succeed in bringing it down again safely. No one in the craft is hurt. Responsibility for the attack is claimed by a previously unknown organisation calling itself ‘Revenge for Vietnam’.

There is a terrorist explosion at Vienna airport.

A group of unidentified men attack the territory of the British military base in Cyprus with mortars.

A serious accident takes place on the most important oil pipeline in Alaska. The pumping stations break down and the flow of oil falls to a trickle.

In West Germany there are several unsuccessful attempts on the lives of American generals.

In the North Sea the biggest of the British oil rigs tips over and sinks. The precise reason for this is not established, although experts believe that corrosion of main supports is the culprit.

In the United States an epidemic of some unidentified disease breaks out and spreads rapidly. It seems to affect port areas particularly, such as San Francisco, Boston, Charleston, Seattle, Norfolk and Philadelphia.

There are explosions practically every day in Paris. The main targets are the government districts, communication centres and military headquarters. At the same time terrible forest fires are raging in the South of France.

All these operations — because of course none of these events is an accident — and others like them are known officially in the GRU as the ‘preparatory period’, and unofficially as the ‘overture’. The overture is a series of large and small operations the purpose of which is, before actual military operations begin, to weaken the enemy’s morale, create an atmosphere of general suspicion, fear and uncertainty, and divert the attention of the enemy’s armies and police forces to a huge number of different targets, each of which may be the object of the next attack.

The overture is carried by agents of the secret services of the Soviet satellite countries and by mercenaries recruited by intermediaries. The principal method employed at this stage is ‘grey terror’, that is, a kind of terror which is not conducted in the name of the Soviet Union. The Soviet secret services do not at this stage leave their visiting cards, or leave other people’s cards. The terror is carried out in the name of already existing extremist groups not connected in any way with the Soviet Union, or in the name of fictitious organisations.

The GRU reckons that in this period its operations should be regarded as natural disasters, actions by forces beyond human control, mistakes committed by people, or as terrorist acts by organisations not connected with the Soviet Union.

The terrorist acts carried out in the course of the ‘overture’ require very few people, very few weapons and little equipment. In some cases all that may be needed is one man who has as a weapon nothing more than a screwdriver, a box of matches or a glass ampoule. Some of the operations can have catastrophic consequences. For example, an epidemic of an infectious disease at seven of the most important naval bases in the West could have the effect of halving the combined naval might of the Soviet Union’s enemies.

 

Cyber attacks on banks, casino highlight growing threat

“Iranian hackers have been suspected in multiple incidents that inflicted damage on various entities in the private sector, including finance and energy firms,” according to the five-page report, “Pistachios and Saffron: Investigating the Iranian Cyber Threat.”

“Current analysis indicates Iran may intend to use its growing cyber force to attack global critical infrastructure,” the report added.

Once limited to website defacements and other less damaging attacks, Tehran’s hacker forces are now capable of using customized malicious software designed for use against specific victims. Continue reading

Fixing Cyber Roads and Bridges

The commander of the U.S. Cyber Command said on Wednesday that critical infrastructure like power grids and financial networks are weak and need to be strengthened against cyber attacks.

“From my perspective, the threats are real and growing,” said Army Gen. Keith Alexander, who heads the Cyber Command as well as the electronic intelligence-gathering National Security Agency. Continue reading

Oil industry sees China winning, West losing from Iran sanctions

Russia is also who will precisely benefit from an actual war on Iran. Not only through weapons and technology sales in the prelude to war, but through the oil and gas trade. Thus, it is also in Russia’s interests to escalate tensions with their middle east proxies against the west.

(Reuters) – As the European Union prepares to ban Iranian oil and the United States turns the screw on payments, oil executives and policymakers say China and Russia stand to gain the most and Western oil firms and consumers may emerge the biggest losers.

Iran will continue to sell much the same volume of oil – 2.6 million barrels per day or around 3 percent of world supply – but almost all of it will flow to China, they reason. And being pretty much Iran’s only remaining customer, Beijing will be able to negotiate a much reduced price.

The EU will ban Iranian oil from July. The United States plans sanctions on Iran’s central bank and possibly its shipping firm. European headquartered oil firms such as France’s Total and Royal Dutch Shell have already abandoned Iranian oil purchases or are in the process of doing so.

Continue reading article: Oil industry sees China winning, West losing from Iran sanctions (Reuters)