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[Due to the increasing size of the archives, each topic page now contains only the prior 365 days of content. Access to older stories is now solely through the Monthly Archive pages or the site search function.]

Opinion: Saudis Planning For A War Of Attrition In Europe With Russia’s Oil Industry

November 18, 2015

by Nick Cunningham of

Russia’s central bank recently warned about the growing financial risks to the Russian economy from Saudi Arabia encroaching upon its traditional export market for crude oil. Russia sends 70 percent of its oil to Europe, but Saudi Arabia has been making inroads in the European market amid the oil price downturn.

The result is a heavier discount for Russia’s crude oil, the so-called Urals blend. Bloomberg reported that the Urals typically lands in Rotterdam, a major European destination, at a discount to Brent of around $2 or less. But the discount has widened to $3.50 lately due to increased competition from Saudi Arabia. “Oil supplies to Europe from Saudi Arabia are probably adversely affecting Urals prices,” the Russian central bank warned in a recent report.

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Opinion: Oil Market Showdown—Can Russia Outlast The Saudis?

October 20, 2015

by Dalan McEndree for

Two men enter, one man leaves, two men enter, one man leaves, two men enter...

November 27, oil consuming countries will celebrate the first anniversary of the Saudi decision to let market forces determine prices. This decision set crude prices on a downward path. Subsequently, to defend market share, the Saudis increased production, which exacerbated market oversupply and further pressured prices.

While the sharp decline in crude prices has saved crude consuming nations hundreds of billions of dollars, the loss in revenues has caused crude exporting countries intense economic and financial pain. Their suffering has led some to call for a change in strategy to “balance” the market and boost prices. Venezuela, an OPEC member, has even proposed an emergency summit meeting.

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Ford, St. Petersburg State project reaches final stage; advancing production connected car technology

October 14, 2015

Ford Motor Company and St. Petersburg State Polytechnic University have reached the final phase of a large-scale, three-year research project aimed at enhancing vehicle communication technology. (Earlier post.) As a result of the work that leverages university telematics expertise in space robot communications, Ford has filed several patents on technologies that can serve to advance connected cars of the future.

The primary goal of the joint project was the development of robust communication technology to connect drivers and service providers with information and services on the cloud. The key problem Ford set out to address was maintaining reliable communication between vehicles and the cloud in conditions where there was wireless network overload or poor connectivity.

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Opinion: Is Russia Plotting To Bring Down OPEC?

October 06, 2015

by Dalan McEndree for

President Putin’s recent moves in the Middle East—to shore up Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Syria through deployment of combat aircraft, equipment, and manpower and build-out of air-, naval-, and ground-force bases, and the agreement in the last week with Iran, Iraq, and Syria on intelligence and security cooperation—could contribute to Russian efforts to combat the myriad negative pressures on Russia’s vital energy industry.

Live by Energy…

Energy is the foundation of Russia, its economy, its government, and its political system. Putin has highlighted on various occasions the contribution Russia’s mineral wealth, in particular oil and natural gas, must make for Russia to be able to sustain economic growth, promote industrial development, catch up with the developed economies, and modernize Russia’s military and military industry.

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MIT and Moscow State University collaborating on advanced batteries, metal-air batteries and reversible fuel/electrolysis cells

April 12, 2015

Researchers at the Skoltech Center for Electrochemical Energy Storage (CEES), a partnership between the MIT Materials Processing Center and Lomonosov Moscow State University, are focusing on the development of higher capacity batteries. CEES is a Center for Research, Education and Innovation (CREI) under the umbrella of the Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology (Skoltech).

CEES has three main research thrusts: the development of advanced lithium-ion and multivalent ion batteries; the development of rechargeable metal-air batteries; and Development of reversible low and elevated temperature fuel cells

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