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Chavez, Venezuela, and the oil market

CNBC:

Gal Luft, co-director at the Institute for the Analysis of Global Security and a senior adviser to the U.S. Energy Security Council said that though a Chavez departure may already be well factored into prices, it won't "translate into market calmness before it is clear what the nature of the new leadership is."

Clarity over who will be running state-oil producer PDVSA will be equally important, Luft said. "The company has been battered by terribly ineffective personnel changes and removal of competent leadership which has been replaced by political appointees," he said. "Once we begin to see changes in the company's leadership, reflecting professionalism and competence, that could mean the company is making a U-turn, becoming attractive for investors."

Meanwhile, a former executive at PDVSA told CNBC that Venezuela has lost its ability to influence global oil markets because years of under investment in the OPEC (Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries) member's petroleum industry has constrained production.

"Venezuela is a weak OPEC hawk, as it has no sufficient production to influence prices," said Gustavo Coronel, a founding member of the board of state-oil firm Petroleos de Venezuela. "Venezuela is no longer a factor that can really upset the markets as it was the case 20 years ago."

Gustavo Coronel outlined in the July 2012 JES what it will take for PDVSA to recover

 

Bomb disables Iraq fuel oil pipeline

From Reuters, via the Lebanese Daily Star

Once again, terrorists have targeted the vulnerable energy sector. 

Attackers bombed and disabled a pipeline carrying fuel oil from Iraq's largest refinery to a province north of Baghdad, the oil ministry said on Sunday.

 "A bomb attack led to an explosion in the 16-inch pipeline transporting fuel oil from Baji refinery to Nineveh province," said ministry spokesman Asim Jihad.

US Administration’s Strategy to Mitigate the Theft of U.S. Trade Secrets

From  the White House  

Victoria Espinel, the U.S. Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator, announced the launch of a new strategy to protect intellectual property. She cited President Obama's State of the Union Address in which he said,  “we cannot look back years from now and wonder why we did nothing in the face of real threats to our security and our economy.”

The Strategy that we are releasing today coordinates and improves U.S. Government efforts to protect the innovation that drives the American economy and supports jobs in the United States. As the Strategy lays out, we are taking a whole of government approach to stop the theft of trade secrets by foreign competitors or foreign governments by any means – cyber or otherwise.

President Obama's Cybersecurity Executive Order

From  the White House

In his 2013 State of the Union address, President Barack Obama emphasized the importance of securing our energy systems from cyber attacks. 

America must also face the rapidly growing threat from cyber-attacks. Now, we know hackers steal people’s identities and infiltrate private emails. We know foreign countries and companies swipe our corporate secrets. Now our enemies are also seeking the ability to sabotage our power grid, our financial institutions, our air traffic control systems. We cannot look back years from now and wonder why we did nothing in the face of real threats to our security and our economy.

And that’s why, earlier today, I signed a new executive order that will strengthen our cyber defenses by increasing information sharing, and developing standards to protect our national security, our jobs, and our privacy.

But now Congress must act as well, by pass...

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Videos

US Energy Security Council RT discussion

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