They say that natural gas is a more dynamic study in geopolitics than oil. Yes, petroleum is what makes the world go 'round. But, once you get it to a super-tanker, you can ship it anywhere. Natural gas, of which the world consumes 3,000 billion cubic meters per year, is much harder (and more expensive) to transport. You have to build miles and miles of expensive pipeline to get it to your buyer. So whatever countries your pipeline runs through, or to, you'd better stay friends.
Today I'm sending you a video by STRATFOR on the much-discussed potential energy deal between Russia and China. Ideology aside, the two countries would seem like a compatible couple (Russia is the world's largest exporter of raw commodities, China the world's largest importer). But are they ready to tie the knot with a pipeline that would takes decades and hundreds of billions of dollars to build?
<<Watch the video here>> to get the full analysis. OTB readers can also access a discount on subscriptions to STRATFOR, plus get a free book. I read them daily, as they are the best source I've found for understanding geopolitical risk.