Iraq and the six GCC states share the Gulf with Iran and with each other. In many cases, maritime boundaries between them have been agreed; in other cases, disputes remain. Where offshore oil and gas deposits do not fall neatly under the sovereignty of one state, cooperative arrangements have often been instituted.
For Arab states, controlling their borders is often a challenging business. Cross-border cooperation and physical measures, aided by the latest technology, may help. Beggar-my-neighbour policies certainly won’t.
different from oil. Vitally important to some MENA economies – Qatar, Algeria, Oman, Bahrain, Egypt.
Saudi Arabia and its close allies express guarded support for Trump. Most others stay on the fence. Iraq calls on US to reconsider.
Oman avoids taking sides against Iran or Qatar. IMF warns of need for substantial reform.
While the Strait of Hormuz is vital to global energy supplies, closing it would be harder than might seem to be the case. IRGC provocation or miscalculation could, however, put shipping in the Strait in peril.
Oman at risk from the Qatar vs. four dispute. Has stuck to its neutrality, while benefiting materially from more trade with Qatar. So far the four have worn it, but the risks remain, above all from the lack of any consistent US policy.
Discrepancies between Aramco revenue and official Saudi government oil income data; leaked documents shed light on royal family’s offshore investments.
In the 47 years of his rule, Sultan Qaboos has transformed Oman from a backward country to one which is in many ways modern. A further transformation will be needed if Oman is to make the transition to a post-oil economy.
Final chapter in forthcoming e-book considers what will happen when the Saudi and Egyptian regimes fall and the West’s struggle against Jihad.