EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Debilitating hostility between Saudi Arabia and Iran is about lots of things, not least who will have the upper hand in a swath of land stretching from Central Asia to the Atlantic coast of Africa. While attention is focused on ensuring that continued containment of Iran gives Saudi Arabia a leg up, geopolitics is but one side of the equation. Natural gas is the other.
With signatories to the Paris Climate Accord moving towards bans on gasoline- and diesel-driven vehicles within decades and renewable energy technology advancing by leaps and bounds, natural gas has taken on a new significance.
These global energy trends are hastening in an era in which oil will significantly diminish in importance and natural gas, according to energy scholar Sergei Paltsev, will fill gaps in the provision of renewable energy that await technological advances.