Oil

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Here is an addendum to our post on Friday on what might come next for trade sanctions on Russia. I spent part of the weekend playing with the data on MIT’s brilliant Observatory of Economic Complexity. It is a fabulous place for visualisations of trade data. The underlying data are a few years out of date. But the overall trend still holds true and so these interactive charts on Russia seem worth sharing given the current debate. Read more

♦ Prime Minister Erdogan blames protesters for falling stocks and does not admit to domineering policies, including plans to turn Gezi Park into a shopping mall.

♦ Patrick Cockburn predicts diplomacy will fail in Syria, as more countries and sects enter the fray.

China buys the most Iraqi oil, the New York Times reports.

Reinsurance prices fall, for the first since Katrina, as investors seek hurricane protection.

♦ The Israeli government wants mandatory military service for ultra-conservative Jewish men. Read more

John Paul Rathbone

It is a common error in politics to underestimate your adversary. Ever since Hugo Chávez fell ill from cancer two years ago, many imagined that his rule and his oil-fuelled socialist revolution would also end with his death, undermined by its own prodigious inefficiency and corruption. But now that the Venezuelan president has actually died, it no longer quite looks that way.

Chávez is now bound for mythology. In the imagination of his mourning supporters, he may come to occupy a space similar to Che Guevara’s – another martyr of the revolutionary left, albeit one without as large a cheque book. Indeed, Chávez’s early death is likely to prolong “chavismo” for a few more years rather than bring it to an abrupt end. Read more

These are the pieces that got us talking over the weekend and this morning:

The World Bank presidency and Iraq’s impact on global oil markets

Alan Beattie, Xan Rice, Michael Peel and Guy Chazan join Gideon Rachman to discuss the battle for the presidency of the World Bank and the state of Iraq and its impact on the global oil market

Tensions rise between Iran and the west and Nigeria tries to end a costly fuel subsidy

James Blitz, diplomatic editor, Javier Blas, commodities editor, and Roula Khalaf, Middle East editor, join Shawn Donnan to discuss the growing tensions between Iran and the west as the EU prepares an oil embargo. Read more

John Paul Rathbone

Chevron’s oil spill off the coast of Rio de Janeiro last week will have many repercussions. For the company – a $28m fine. For Brazil, perhaps, a re-consideration of the development of its massive deep-sea oil reserves. And, for Washington, a reminder of potential problems closer to home – in fact, less than 30 miles outside US waters, namely Cuba’s looming “oil crisis”Read more