GREECE: GREAT OPPORTUNITY
Russia's plan to shift the transit of EU bound natural gas to a new gas hub at the Greek-Turkish border will allow Greece will become an important factor in supplying Europe with Russian gas, according to a representative of the SYRIZA (the Coalition of the Radical Left) Party.
Gazprom has announced that it plans to re-route gas presently transited via Ukraine to the proposed Turkish Stream pipeline.
"The 50 billion cubic meters of gas per year, that will be accumulated in Turkey's border with Greece are a great opportunity for Greece to upgrade its geopolitical role", said Athanasios Petrakos, who is also in charge of Eurosceptic party's energy policy.
Greece will go to the polls in a national election on January 25th following the country's parliament failed to elect a president in the third and final round of voting on December 29, 2014.
Several recent polls indicate that Syriza holds a lead of over 3 percentage points over Prime Minister Antonis Samaras's New Democracy party.
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BP and its partners in Azerbaijan's giant ACG oil production complex agreed Thursday to extend the production sharing contract by 25 years to 2049 and to increase the stake of state-owned SOCAR, reducing the size of their own shares.
The U.S. current-account deficit increased to $123.1 billion (preliminary) in the second quarter of 2017 from $113.5 billion (revised) in the first quarter of 2017, according to statistics released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). The deficit increased to 2.6 percent of current-dollar gross domestic product (GDP) from 2.4 percent in the first quarter.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 were trading up 41 cents, or 0.8 percent, at $50.30 by 0852 GMT, near the three-month high of $50.50 it reached last Thursday. Brent crude futures LCOc1, the benchmark for oil prices outside the United States, were at $55.91 a barrel, up 29 cents, and also not far from the near five-month high of $55.99 touched on Thursday.
“The principal risk regarding Russian and Chinese activities in Venezuela in the near term is that they will exploit the unfolding crisis, including the effect of US sanctions, to deepen their control over Venezuela’s resources, and their [financial] leverage over the country as an anti-US political and military partner,” observed R. Evan Ellis, a senior associate in the Center for Strategic and International Studies’ Americas Program.