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The Four Geopolitical Crises Every Investor Needs to Know About

by | published April 13th, 2018

The oil market is currently cashing in on the countless geopolitical “lottery tickets” it has on hand.

Yesterday, Brent and West Texas Intermediate (WTI) flirted with $73 and $67 a barrel, as crude’s weeklong rally hit a fever pitch, prices we haven’t seen in over three years.

Proving once and for all that geopolitics is once again setting the energy agenda.

Which brings us to today’s Oil & Energy Investor.

As we speak, four crises are emerging around the world that will have an inordinate impact on energy prices going forward.

This first one, for example, has already given crude a jolt…

[UPDATE] “Missiles “will be coming,” Trump Tweets (government insiders have been swarming this defense stock)

Geopolitical Focal Point #1 – Russia

The U.S. and Russia moved one step closer to conflict this week after President Donald Trump fired off an incendiary tweet regarding Syria.

“Russia vows to shoot down any and all missiles fired at Syria,” Trump tweeted. “Get ready Russia, because they will be coming, nice and new and ‘smart!’ You shouldn’t be partners with a Gas Killing Animal who kills his people and enjoys it!”

The threat came after the Russian ambassador to Lebanon said his nation’s military would intercept American missiles and potentially target the U.S. craft that fired them. The potential American strike follows a suspected chemical attack on the rebel-held city of Douma, allegedly by forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad.

“Our relationship with Russia is worse now than it has ever been, and that includes the Cold War. There is no reason for this,” Trump continued to say about the incident. “Russia needs us to help with their economy, something that would be very easy to do, and we need all nations to work together. Stop the arms race?”

But there appeared little room for compromise between the two sides on the central issue: the use of chemical weapons in Syria.

Geopolitical Focal Point #2 – South China Sea

The ongoing spat in the South China Sea might not be a new development, but it’s a tenuous situation that is going from bad to worse.

For years, China has tried to stake their claim on the zone, outright ignoring the claims of neighboring nations, and even the ruling of an international court.

“China is attempting to assert de facto sovereignty over disputed maritime features by further militarizing its manmade bases,” U.S. Pacific Command Admiral Harry Harris testified in a Congressional hearing yesterday, according to a report by The Economic Times of India.

While downplaying his country’s geopolitical ambitions, China’s foreign minister Wang Yi still couldn’t resist plugging the party line.

“Beijing’s resolve to protect the peace and the stability of the South China Sea cannot be shaken,” Wang said, adding that the problems in the region are due to “foreign forces” which “have sent fully armed warships and fighters to the South China Sea to flaunt their military might.”

His reference to so-called “foreign forces” include increased freedom of navigation voyages by the U.S. Navy in the South China Sea, which is for all intent and purposes, is an U.N.-mandated international waterway.

Recently, the situation has gotten so dire that the U.S. and Vietnam – the two countries that have defied China the most – joined forces, marking the first time the U.S. military has had a physical presence in Vietnam since the 1970s.

Like most of the countries involved in this ongoing dispute, Vietnam is vying to keep these waters open for ships. Vietnam has pursued the creation of an official code of conduct in the South China Sea – one that would reign in China’s island-building and warship posturing.

And in its persistence, Hanoi has made an enemy of Beijing.

Which just became more threatening than ever. Disturbing satellite images prove the Chinese have developed a new superweapon called “sha shou jian.” In English, this means “The Assassins Mace.”

Its purpose is to annihilate U.S. Naval Forces in the Western Pacific.

This appalling satellite footage has proven that the Chinese have grown new and stronger aggression towards the U.S.

And now the Pentagon is racing to funnel millions to a small $6 defense contractor with a mind-blowing new technology to stop China in its tracks.

Geopolitical Focal Point #3 – Saudi Arabia

The situation in Saudi Arabia is quickly starting to look like a Middle Eastern “Fight Club.” On Wednesday, news broke that this de facto OPEC leader intercepted at least three ballistic missiles fired at Riyadh and Najran by Yemen.

Since coming into power, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman (MbS), the youngest defense minister in the world, has done nothing to lessen acrimony between the two countries, in addition to the smoldering situation it faces with Syria and Bahrain. It’s also dialed up the rhetoric against its regional rival, Iran.

Costly skirmishes that the oil-rich nation is now struggling to afford.

As the Saudi government spends increasingly more money, especially on defense for its war in Yemen and supporting rebels in Syria, the world’s second-largest oil producer is hemorrhaging cash faster than they can make it. And that has them turning to the “mother of all solutions” to fight off its economic time bomb. And that’s where the Aramco IPO comes in.

We’ve been talking at great length about this windfall game-changer the Kingdom recently. And for a good reason. Not only because this company – the world’s most valuable firm – will open its vast energy riches to investors for the first time in 85 years…

But also because it means oil prices will skyrocket to $100 a barrel.

Based on my estimation, the Saudi Aramco IPO will make approximately a million dollars for every single dollar the price of oil goes up. That means they’ve got to get oil back to $100 a barrel – possibly higher – if they want any chance of floating their economy for much longer. 

[Critical] Disturbing satellite images confirm Pentagon fears

Geopolitical Focal Point #4 – Venezuela

For some time now, I’ve been telling you about the sinking ship that is Venezuela.

With hyperinflation over 4,000%, a corrupt government, declining oil production, and many desperate attempts to rectify the situation, it’s clear that Venezuela’s economic topple isn’t a matter of if, but when.

And now the tides have turned, once again, for the floundering country…

One of Venezuela’s key allies – and loaners – is no longer trusting the country with repayments.

China has sent around $50 billion to Venezuela over the years, which was repaid slowly with oil shipments.

However, with Venezuela’s oil rapidly declining in quality and quantity, China has been slowly backing away from any more financial deals.

Although China has allowed more lenient repayment terms for the past few years – allowing Venezuela to pay only interest on its debt – they are no longer lending the socialist country any new money.

Chinese officials are now putting President Maduro in the same category as Robert Mugabe, the president of Zimbabwe, who was forced out of power after four decades of dictatorship.

In other words, as a source in Beijing stated, “China looks at Venezuela as another Zimbabwe: a poor return on their investment.”

Venezuela still owes its backer $19.3 billion.

The Venezuelan crisis is an important cog in the oil wheel, and it is having an effect on what direction oil is turning in 2018.

You see, with the largest oil reserves in the world, Venezuela’s continued collapse could send oil prices through the roof

And select oil plays could make smart investors lots of money as a result.

The bottom line here is, each of these four factors testifies to the interdependence of oil prices and global events.

These developments are no longer outliers.

They are endemic to the process.

Investors can no longer regard them as one-offs, and I can guarantee that each one is being factored into the current oil rally.

Sincerely,

Kent

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