SOURCE: Stratfor

Stratfor

January 13, 2015 13:35 ET

Stratfor: Global Energy Market to Shape Key Geopolitical Trends in 2015

Leading Global Intelligence and Advisory Firm Publishes Annual Forecast, Says Oil Price Decline Will Re-Shape the International System in the Year Ahead

AUSTIN, TX--(Marketwired - Jan 13, 2015) - Stratfor this week released its 2015 Annual Forecast, summarizing key global trends and regional dynamics the firm anticipates will be front and center on the geopolitical agenda as the world advances into the new year. Declining oil prices and the world's ability to cope with or exploit an oversupplied oil market will have the largest impact on trends Stratfor is watching in 2015.

"The structural economic decline in Europe and China, along with the U.S. shale revolution going back to 2008, were huge drivers behind the oversupplied oil market we find ourselves in today," said Reva Bhalla, vice president of global analysis at Stratfor. "With prices half of what they were a year ago, the world is going to feel the impact, most notably, Russia."

VIDEO: Watch more commentary from Reva Bhalla on Stratfor's 2015 Annual Forecast and the broader impact of the global energy climate.

Some of the regional trends and developments Stratfor highlights in its 2015 Annual Forecast include:

  • Multiple factors will result in a de-escalation in the Ukraine conflict and Russia's power projection abroad. Russia has entered 2015 in a stalemate; there is no major military move that Moscow can make without triggering a larger, and potentially crippling, response from the West.

  • The eurozone faces four major problems in 2015: economic stagnation, high unemployment, low inflation and high debt. The artificial calm created by the European Central Bank and embraced by financial markets has Europe sleepwalking into another financial crisis. Italy, Greece and Spain will bear close watch for triggers to financial panic, while France and Germany will remain locked in conflict over how to revive the eurozone.

  • China enters 2015 in the midst of a deepening economic slowdown. As the Chinese economy disaggregates, northern China's traditional coal, steel and heavy industrial hubs, where reliance on the health of the real estate sector is highest, will be hardest hit.

  • Social unrest in Venezuela is inevitable in 2015 as the government, which is already facing strained finances due to the downturn in global oil prices, loses its ability to fund critical imports. 

  • There likely will not be a grand rapprochement between Iran and the United States in 2015 that dramatically increases the amount of Iranian oil on an already oversupplied market, but the U.S.-Iran negotiation will hold steady.

  • The fight against the Islamic State will move slowly as Washington relies on air power and the gradual buildup of local forces divided along multiple ethnic and sectarian lines. The Islamic State will largely be on the defensive in 2015, and likely won't evolve into a more critical and strategic threat on the transnational level.

Stratfor's entire 2015 Annual Forecast is available to subscribers on the company's website at http://www.stratfor.com/forecast/annual-forecast-2015.

About Stratfor
Stratfor is a leading geopolitical intelligence and consulting firm that provides strategic analysis and forecasting to individuals and organizations around the world. By placing global events in a geopolitical framework, the company helps customers and subscribers anticipate opportunities and better understand the broader impact of regional and international developments. Full analysis on global events and more details on the company can be found on Stratfor's website at www.stratfor.com.