Monthly Archives: February 2013

How will Barack Obama tackle climate change? Getty Images

The comments in President Obama’s second inaugural speech on climate change have encouraged campaigners to think that something substantive is about to happen. It is always good to be optimistic, but the hard question is what exactly is he going to do and what will it achieve. Read more

Petrobras is in a mess. The Brazilian state company makes promises year after year, only to disappoint. Worse still, the Brazilian government heaps on the pressure by trying to push up production targets. But it refuses for national political reasons to give the company the means and freedom to deliver.

To start with the good news. Petrobras keeps discovering huge volumes of oil and gas. The Lula field for instance is estimated to hold 8bn bbls of oil, making it a world-class elephant. Offshore Brazil is clearly one of the most prolific new provinces in the world.

That’s the end of the good news. The bad news is that Petrobras seems unable to either set or deliver credible development plans for the resources it holds. Read more

Three weeks after the tragic events at the In Amenas gas facility in Algeria, the companies directly involved and many others with interests in North Africa and across the Middle East are beginning to assess the implications and the choices they face.

Algeria, and indeed the whole of the North African region apart from a few parts of Libya, had been considered relatively safe. Installations including In Amenas were protected by national security forces but were not armed camps. Algeria was considered to be predominantly law abiding – with fewer attempted kidnappings than many other countries around the world. The companies believed they had good relationships with the government in Algiers. Read more