The Great Debate

Why oil collapse is forcing Saudi Arabia to cut back on its checkbook diplomacy

March 16, 2016
Yemeni soldiers trained in Saudi Arabia, hold their weapons as they wear uniforms provided by the Gulf states in Marib, Yemen October 15, 2015. Marib is a city that is heavily armed even by the standards of Yemen, where the ready availability of weapons helped start civil war and is now preventing anyone coming out on top. Yemenis often say there are three guns for every person, a boast that has become an urgent concern in a country where the United Nations says the humanitarian situation is "critical". Picture taken October 15, 2015. REUTERS/Angus McDowall - RTS4ZMB

Yemeni soldiers trained in Saudi Arabia, hold their weapons as they wear uniforms provided by the Gulf states in Marib, Yemen October 15, 2015. REUTERS/Angus McDowall

The one thing in Saudi Arabia that works well is under threat

February 3, 2016
A gas flame is seen in the desert near the Khurais oilfield, about 160 km (99 miles) from Riyadh, June 23, 2008. State oil giant Saudi Aramco is adamant the biggest new field in its plan to raise oil capacity will arrive bang on schedule in June next year. REUTERS/Ali Jarekji  (SAUDI ARABIA) - RTX79NP

A gas flame is seen in the desert near the Khurais oilfield, about 99 miles from Riyadh, June 23, 2008. REUTERS/Ali Jarekji

Is it time for the United States to dump Saudi Arabia?

February 3, 2016
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry walks with Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir (C) to attend a Gulf Cooperation Council meeting at King Salman Regional Air Base in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, January 23, 2016. REUTERS/Jacquelyn Martin/Pool - RTX23NE0

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry walks with Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir (C) to attend a Gulf Cooperation Council meeting at King Salman Regional Air Base in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, January 23, 2016. REUTERS/Jacquelyn Martin

Podcast: Vladimir Putin and the petro states are slowly losing a key weapon

January 21, 2016
Participants: Jason Fields, Matthew Gault, Agnia Grigas

Since the breakup of the Soviet Union, Russia has used natural gas as a weapon against Ukraine and Europe as a whole. Threatening to turn shut off the pipes as the weather turns cold is a pretty effective way to influence foreign policy.

Five steps Obama can take before leaving office to stave off climate disaster

January 11, 2016
Vehicles pass a road as smog covers China's capital Beijing on an extremely polluted day, December 1, 2015. The Chinese characters on the electronic board to the right read, "low visibility, slow down". REUTERS/Jason Lee      TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY      - RTX1WLMT

Smog covers Beijing on an extremely polluted day, December 1, 2015. The Chinese characters on the electronic board read, “Low visibility, slow down.” REUTERS/Jason Lee

from Breakingviews:

Arab sovereign wealth fund exodus just beginning

December 29, 2015

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Chaos in Libya: It’s the oil, stupid

December 13, 2015
One of the members of the military protecting a demonstration against candidates for a national unity government proposed by U.N. envoy for Libya Bernardino Leon, is pictured in Benghazi, Libya October 23, 2015. REUTERS/Esam Omran Al-Fetori      TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY      - RTS5V4X

One of the members of the military protecting a demonstration against candidates for a national unity government proposed by UN envoy for Libya Bernardino Leon, is pictured in Benghazi, Libya, October 23, 2015. REUTERS/Esam Omran Al-Fetori 

What a climate deal means for oil markets

December 8, 2015
An employee of Indonesian oil company Pertamina walks on the top of drums at the oil storage depot in Jakarta September 1, 2005. Indonesia's state oil company Pertamina increased prices of high octane gasoline by more than 40 percent and hiked the prices of some other industry fuels on Thursday to catch up with the rising cost of crude oil. REUTERS/Beawiharta  BEA/PN - RTRM69Y

An employee of Indonesian oil company Pertamina walks on the top of drums at the oil storage depot in Jakarta, September 1, 2005. REUTERS/Beawiharta

Why $40 oil is killing Iraq, Venezuela and others, but not Russia

August 28, 2015
Russian President Vladimir Putin meets with journalists after submerging into the waters of the Black Sea inside a research bathyscaphe as part of an expedition in Sevastopol, Crimea, August 18, 2015. REUTERS/Alexei Druzhinin/RIA Novosti/Kremlin

Russian President Vladimir Putin meets with journalists after submerging into the waters of the Black Sea inside a research bathyscaphe in Sevastopol, Crimea, August 18, 2015. REUTERS/Alexei Druzhinin/RIA Novosti/Kremlin

Iran nuclear deal: Why the private sector will decide whether it survives

July 15, 2015
A man adjusts signs during the 15th International Oil and Gas Conference  in Tehran

A man adjusts signs during the 15th International Oil and Gas Conference in Tehran, November 1, 2011. REUTERS/Caren Firouz ​