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NIGERIA

NIGERIA

Volatile energy prices are likely due to the Nigerian elections.  There hasn’t been a peaceful transition of power in Nigeria for a long time.  The present government was elected on a populist platform to improve the living standards of the population, particularly in the Niger Delta, where the bulk of the oil is produced.

Unfortunately, the new government has proven to be as corrupt as the previous one and has been particularly violent in putting down any dissent.  The population there continues to live in squalor and poverty, reaping no benefits from the oil produced wealth.  A violent uprising is not unlikely and there are plenty of local characters, warlords and tribal leaders, who would happily take advantage of the unrest.  Some good news in the energy industry is that Iraqi production is rising; thanks to the Kurds for that.

Global Warming

Forget the debate, the U.S. military has now declared global warming to be a threat to national security.  We will have a war on global warming, which is to say limits on CO2 emissions.  The buzz phrase is "a carbon constrained world".  You’ll here this from utility CEO’s.  The market has already reacted with uranium stock gains and solar stock gains.  Basically, anything that will reduce the carbon footprint is in favor.

Metals and Other Commodities

The CEO of GE says we are in the first inning of a nine inning infrastructure game, citing orders for natura gas turbines, energy, transportation and aerospace goods.  That should include facilities, roads, rail and desalination.  GE Water is a $2 billion division, and is one of their fastest growers.  Desalination, water treatment and water allocation will be critical capacities in the future.