1. Electric cars hurt oil
It may take a little longer to reach SA, but the radical change spurred by the development of new technology is hurtling closer. The sharp growth in electric car numbers threatens the future of oil companies, Fitch warns. The ratings agency outlines a grim scenario for global oil companies such as Chevron, ExxonMobil and Royal Dutch Shell. Battery-powered vehicles aren’t a common sight in SA, but mass adoption is not all that far away in other countries.
2. Russia scores refinery
Meanwhile, a US$13bn deal between Russia and India threatens the grip that Middle East countries have on crude suppliers. Investors led by Rosneft beat Saudis and Iranians to buy India’s second-biggest refinery in a deal announced on the weekend. That gives Russia access to a market of 1.3bn people that imports more than 80% of its crude.
3. Battle for Mosul
Those hoping that the assault on the Iraqi city of Mosul will signal the end of the Islamic State would be naive to expect an easy win. Iraqi troops, Kurdish Peshmerga and thousands of Iraqi civilians descended on Mosul on Monday, hoping to crush its hold on Iraq’s second-largest city. Turkey and the US have joined the operation from the safety of the air. Aside from the military battle, the winner will have a massive humanitarian crisis on its hands. The city’s 1.5m civilians will bear the brunt of the battle, and as many as 1m people are expected to flee the fighting.