Articles by Gustavo Coronel

Corruption and Progressive Isolation

At the end of 1959 my wife and I spent our honeymoon on the island of Margarita, off the coast of Venezuela. We were at the beach one morning and I saw a nine or ten year old boy passing … Continue reading

Posted in Book Reviews | |

Fidel Castro, the Number One Enemy of Democratic Venezuela, is Dead

In Venezuela Fidel Castro is inextricably linked to Hugo Chavez and rejected by the majority of the population. For most Venezuelans, Chavez and Castro are both physically and politically dead. By Gustavo Coronel l December 6, 2016 When Fidel Castro … Continue reading

Posted in Cuba, Foreign Policy, Latin America, News and Analysis , , | |

The Export Ban on U.S. Crude Oil Has Been Lifted: What’s Next?

The alternatives open to the country are basically exporting some of its increased production or to apply this new production to minimize and, eventually, to eliminate import requirements. It would seem that U.S. exports of crude oil, at this moment in time, will be more beneficial in almost all respects to the overall U.S. economy and national interest than trying to replace oil imports with the new domestic production. Continue reading

Posted in America, Energy Security, Europe, News and Analysis , , , , , | |

Lifting the 40-Year Ban on U.S. Crude Oil Exports: Background and Current Status

Lifting the ban on crude oil exports is merely a legal step and does not mean that, if taken, exports will automatically take place. In fact, they might not take place at all for some time or start at modest levels. There will be some complex questions to consider before engaging in large scale exports of crude oil. Continue reading

Posted in Energy Security, News and Analysis , , , , | |

Strategic Management: Another Name for Common Sense

As commander of the Joint Special Operations Task Force, the Task Force that undertook the fight against Al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI), General Stanley McChrystal saw his forces in 2006 increase the number of raids against the enemy from ten … Continue reading

Posted in Book Reviews | |

Tragedy and Murder in Putin’s Russia

What starts as an entertaining, almost comical account of the early incursions of Bill Browder into the world of Eastern European finance rapidly develops into a story of unparalleled success as an investor in Russia and, finally, into a drama … Continue reading

Posted in Book Reviews | |

Venezuelan Armed Forces Establish State of Terror

Maduro’s regime, with the help of the Cubans, has turned Venezuela into a rogue state and the international community and democratic governments of the world should no longer delude themselves about its abusive, corrupt and illegitimate nature.

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Posted in Foreign Policy, Latin America, News and Analysis , , , | |

Environmental Fanaticism, Political Corruption and Greed

In early 2009, I received a call from a friend of mine who was working for a Washington DC-based think tank. He told me they had been invited to analyze a legal action started in Ecuador some years before by a group of indigenous people against the Chevron oil company. The plaintiffs claimed that Texaco, later acquired by Chevron, had caused great environmental damage in the Amazon region of South America, where they had operated for about 20 years, between 1972 and 1992. My friend said that they had excused themselves from looking into this because the case had complex political ramifications. He asked me if, as an independent petroleum geologist, I would be interested in taking a look. There would be no compensation involved.

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Posted in Book Reviews, News and Analysis | |

Can the U.S. Provide Europe with Energy Security in the Face of Russian Aggression?

It appears conditions are right for the U.S. to export oil and gas in significant amounts to Europe. This would be not only economically favorable to the U.S. but politically very favorable to Europe, since it could largely replace in the medium term an unreliable source of energy supply from Russia by a much more reliable and friendly source, the United States.

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Posted in Energy Security, Europe, Foreign Policy, News and Analysis, Russia , , , , , , | |

Ukrainian-Russian tensions: A major risk for European energy security

“The question of exports to Russia falls under [EU sanctions] stage three. About when to trigger stage three, if there is more destabilization we have agreed, also myself bilaterally with the U.S. President, that if [Ukrainian] elections take place we won’t trigger stage three. We see elections have taken place successfully…”

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Posted in Europe, Foreign Policy, News and Analysis, Russia & Eurasia, Uncategorized , , , , , , , , , , , , , | |

Appeasement: From Munich to Crimea and Caracas

As in Munich, many observers of the Venezuelan situation felt dialogue was the correct route. The Pope asked for it. So did the U.S. Secretary of State, John Kerry and many Latin American political leaders. MUD, echoing Chamberlain, must have felt that they were interpreting correctly the desires of the people for peaceful co-existence and for attempting to change the policies of the regime, not changing the regime.

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Posted in Foreign Policy, Latin America, News and Analysis, Russia & Eurasia , , , , , , , , , , , , | |

Putin’s military moves in Latin America

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said he is seeking to establish a military presence in Venezuela, Nicaragua and Cuba. Now with Obama’s weak response to Russia’s annexation of Crimea from Ukraine, it may act as a stimulus for Putin’s further imperialistic moves.

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Posted in Foreign Policy, Latin America, News and Analysis, Russia & Eurasia , , , , , , , , , , , | |

Turmoil in post-Chavez Venezuela

For 15 years Venezuela has been in the grip of an authoritarian regime, first under the late Hugo Chavez and currently under his anointed successor, Nicolas Maduro. From the beginning, the regime developed a pathological political dependence on Fidel Castro’s Cuba, one which has made it possible for the Castro regime to actually dictate Venezuelan policy. On Thursday, February 20th, Members of Congress… Continue reading

Posted in Foreign Policy, Latin America, News and Analysis, Uncategorized , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | |

The Dissipating Influence of the Elites

Big power is crumbling down, in the U.S., in Europe, in Russia. As the Chinese revel in triumphalism, India already challenges its power. In a wonderful insight Naím warns us to “get off the elevator,” that obsession of which country is going up and which down. The 21st century, says Naím, will be no one’s world; the world will be interdependent and will lack a center of gravity.

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Posted in Book Reviews | |

Coal liquefaction to produce clean fuels: Status and outlook

The energy used for transport is over 90 percent generated by oil, while the global amount of vehicles is increasing. The U.S. has 770 autos per 1000 people and China some 100 autos per 1000 people, a figure that might double by 2050. This means a rising demand for oil, forcing oil importing nations to search for alternative sources of energy.

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Posted in America, Energy Security | |

Cuban Oil Prospects Revisited

On January 18, 2011, I published on this website a report about Cuban oil prospects entitled, “Petroleum in Cuba: Current Situation and Mid-term Outlook,”.

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Posted in Energy Security, Latin America , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | |

World outlook of shale gas: Slow but inevitable growth – Part IV

The spectacular growth of shale gas in the U.S. has opened the path for similar developments in other countries. The speed at which these other countries can progress could be much higher since the technology perfected in the U.S. can now be applied elsewhere.

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Posted in America, China, Energy Security, Europe, Latin America, Middle East-North Africa , , , , , , , , , , , , | |

The impact of shale gas on the future of American energy – Part III

The shale gas boom we have described in previous articles is deeply influencing the way America’s energy picture will change in the medium term. Shale gas development has given fossil fuels a new impulse, delaying, possibly by decades, the time of their replacement by other sources of energy.

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Posted in America, Energy Security , , , , , , , , | |

Hugo Chavez: Not a Mandela but a Mugabe

In later years, already gravely ill, Hugo Chavez delivered himself and his country into the hands of the Cuban government, surrendering to Cuban advisors sensitive areas of public administration. By Gustavo Coronel | March 11, 2013 Hugo Chavez could have … Continue reading

Posted in Foreign Policy, Latin America , , , , , , , | |

U.S. shale gas: The new kid on the block -Part II

Thanks to the improvement in drilling and production techniques developed jointly by the public and the private sectors during the last 20 years, shale gas is no longer an unreachable resource but a main contributor to the production of energy in the U.S.

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Posted in America, Energy Security , , , , , , | |

The Birth of the U.S. Shale Gas Boom-Part I

According to the Continue reading

Posted in America, Energy Security , , , , , , , , , , | |

Booking Oil Reserves

In the final notes to his book Steve Coll states that he submitted more than one hundred pages of memoranda on its contents to ExxonMobil for fact checking purposes. The corporation, he says, “was the only party of the dozens reached during the fact-checking process that declined to participate.” He also submitted sixteen questions concerning controversies and lawsuits. The corporation “declined to reply to all of these questions except one.”

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Posted in Book Reviews | |

Petroleos de Venezuela

The most recent issue (November 2011) of $2.4 billion in bonds by Petróleos de Venezuela S.A. (PDVSA) will have the main purpose of paying part of its debt to the Venezuelan Central Bank.

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Posted in Energy Security, Latin America | |

Geopolitics of Gas in Europe

The Nabucco natural gas pipeline project that would transport gas from the Caspian region and the Middle East to Europe, starting in Turkey and ending in Austria, began to be developed in 2004.

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Posted in Energy Security, Europe | |

Alaska to Drill or Not to Drill

The discovery well in Prudhoe Bay was drilled in 1968. At the time, the field was estimated to hold about 10 billion barrels of recoverable reserves.

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Posted in America, Energy Security | |

U.S. OCS Drilling: EPA vs Alaska

In 2010 the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued Shell Offshore, Inc, an affiliate of Shell Oil Company, an air permit for exploration drilling in Alaska’s Beaufort Sea.

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Posted in America, Energy Security, News and Analysis | |

The U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve: When and How to Use It

During the last five years the issue of U.S. energy security has fluctuated from being a top priority (2006-2008) to being less important (2009-2010) and, again, to becoming a top priority (2011).

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Posted in America, Energy Security | |

Libya: A Political Cataclysm

By the end of February 2011 the political situation in Libya rapidly unraveled, as the grasp of Muammar Gaddafi on power weakened significantly.

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Posted in Energy Security, Middle East-North Africa | |

China Secures Energy Resources Worldwide, Including in the U.S.

Communist China’s economy is nearly four times as large as India’s or Russia’s. With a population of over 1.3 billion and one of the highest rates of economic growth in the world, China is undertaking a massive, global hunt for sources of raw materials and energy.

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Posted in China, Energy Security | |

Petroleum in Cuba: Current Situation and Mid-Term Outlook

Cuba currently produces about 48,000 barrels of oil per day and receives about 98,000 barrels per day of highly subsidized oil from Venezuela.

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Posted in Energy Security, Latin America | |

Kremlin Stifles Pipeline Capacity

Oil is produced but it must be refined, transported and exported to become profitable. Ideally, this sequence should be guaranteed before the first stage of production begins.

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Posted in Energy Security, Russia | |

Obama’s Offshore Overture

President Obama’s overture to energy-independence-minded Democrats and Republicans in Congress during his January 28 State of the Union Address was meant as an unabashed attempt at vote-getting in exchange for passage of his climate change and so-called clean energy agenda, specifically to pass “cap and trade.”

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Posted in America, Energy Security | |

A Failing Russian Military and the Global Struggle for Energy

A seminar on the Russian Military conducted August 24th at the Washington-based Hudson Institute with panelists conveyed a picture of the Russian military being in poor shape, badly organized and burdened with obsolete weapons.

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Posted in Energy Security, Russia | |

European Energy Concerns: An Open Letter

A group of distinguished leaders from Central and Eastern Europe has written an Open Letter to President Barrack Obama describing the current political environment of their region and expressing concerns about a perceived loss of attention on the part of the United States.

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Posted in Europe, Foreign Policy | |

Nabucci IGA Strengthens Europe’s Energy Security

The weakest link in the Nabucco natural gas pipeline project, which received the go ahead from five countries: Austria, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary and Turkey on July 13 in Ankara, Turkey, has been the guarantee of gas supply to the pipeline in the strategic 50-year Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA).

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Posted in Energy Security, Europe | |

The Nabucco Pipeline Project: Russia And The Politics Of Natural Gas

Upon signing the definitive agreement to proceed with construction, July 13, in Ankara, Turkey, the countries participating in the pipeline consortium project: Austria, Hungary, Bulgaria, Romania and Turkey will be forced to address both its technical requirements and its political complexity.

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Posted in Energy Security, Russia | |

The U.S.-Georgia Strategic Charter

The U.S.-Georgia Charter on Strategic Partnership signed on January 9th, in Washington strengthens bilateral energy cooperation and will provide President Obama and his administration with a policy tool to continue the Bush administration’s policy towards Russia…

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Posted in Europe, Foreign Policy, Russia & Eurasia | |

Energy and Russia’s New Cold War

In two recent articles we have described how Russian foreign policy is being built around its energy resources.

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Posted in Energy Security, Russia | |

Pipelines: Russia’s New Weapons

In its efforts to increase political control over Europe Russia is utilizing new weapons, not the nuclear devices or missiles of the Cold War, but pipelines.

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Posted in Energy Security, Russia | |

Russian Energy Resurgence

For many years, the Soviet Union and later Russia have been known to possess great resources of hydrocarbons, although much of it exists in extremely harsh and difficult physical environments: Siberia and the Artic Ocean.

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Posted in Energy Security, Russia | |

European Energy Security: In the Paw of the Bear

Europe is becoming increasingly dependent on Russia for much of its energy requirements. The countries of the European Union already import about 80% of their oil and close to 55% of their natural gas requirements.

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Posted in Energy Security, Europe | |

Caspian Oil and Gas Flows to the West Impacted by Russian-Georgian Conflict

The recent military conflict between Russia and Georgia illustrates the increasing fragility of the world energy equation.

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Posted in Energy Security, Russia | |