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Steve Forbes: Saudi Oil Fields at Risk of an Iranian Invasion

By    |   Wednesday, 29 April 2015 12:30 PM

The 47 percent plunge of oil prices since last June has intensified the tension between Mideast titans Saudi Arabia and Iran.

And Steve Forbes, editor-in-chief of Forbes Media, says there's a real risk of Iran attempting a takeover of Saudi oilfields.

"It doesn't take a great military theorist to see that Iran is applying a pincer movement against Saudi Arabia," he writes on Forbes.com.

Iran "now has the means to make a play for control of the immense oilfields of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and, all too obviously, Iraq, where its proxy militias are gaining strength," Forbes notes.

"Most of its [Saudi Arabia's] oil assets are in an area of the kingdom in which Shiites are the distinct majority. Iran's Shiite mullahs figure this is territory ripe for Iranian suzerainty and feel they have nothing to fear from Saudi ground forces," he argues.

"While the world focuses on U.S./Iran nuclear negotiations, the mullahs — and Russian President Vladimir Putin, [who is cozying up to the rogue nation] — have their eyes on more immediate and immensely more juicy prey" than Iraq, where Iran already is asserting control. Forbes says.

"They believe, despite the deployment of U.S. Navy vessels leading Iran to turn back an Iranian naval convoy last week, that Obama will do nothing effective."

And this ominously "leads to the question: what will Israel be forced to do to secure itself — and the civilized world?" Forbes asks.

Meanwhile, for months, ace energy entrepreneur T. Boone Pickens has predicted oil prices will rebound quickly from their 10-month plunge. And he's not backing off that view.

U.S. crude traded at $57.15 Wednesday morning, already up 36 percent from the six-year low of $42.03 it hit March 18. Pickens thinks the price will keep rising to $70 by year-end and $90 to $100 in the next 12 to 18 months.

"You are now at record inventories," he tells CNBC. "A year from now you are moving toward record low inventories." U.S. inventories stood at 1.93 billion barrels as of April 17.

Pickens also maintains that natural gas will rise over the next year. "I'm not ready to call the turn on natural gas yet other than to say it will be more than $3 this winter, and I'm long natural gas in the winter," he notes.

Natural gas has dropped to an almost-three year low Monday, trading at $2.57 per million British thermal units Wednesday morning.

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The 47 percent plunge of oil prices since last June has intensified the tension between Mideast titans Saudi Arabia and Iran.
Forbes, Saudi, Iran, oil
Wednesday, 29 April 2015 12:30 PM
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