According to Carnegie Endowment for International Peace Vice President Marwan Muasher, the Islamic State has become “the world's wealthiest and most financially sophisticated terrorist organization,” with oil generating the greatest proportion of the Islamic State’s revenue, followed by looting, local taxation, extortion and ransom.
"High-priced oil dampens petroleum demand and makes oil alternatives more viable [whereas] lower oil prices reboot oil demand, leading to higher overall production and consumption," according to Deborah Gordon, an energy and climate analyst for Washington DC-based think tank the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
Matt Ferchen, resident scholar at the Carnegie-Tsinghua Center for Global Policy, said that it is unclear what the risks are in the short term. "China's primary interest is the oil and the investment opportunities in Venezuela," he said. "However the question is if China will get more oil given the current poor performance of oil production within Venezuela?"
But some analysts have not raised much alarm over the deal’s potential to raise geopolitical tensions in the region. Matt Ferchen, resident scholar at the Carnegie-Tsinghua Center for Global Policy, said China's push would not worry Washington much, especially with improving U.S.-Cuba ties set to boost U.S. influence.
Matt Ferchen, resident scholar at the Carnegie-Tsinghua Center for Global Policy, said China's push would not alarm Washington with improving U.S.-Cuba ties set to boost U.S. influence. "The reality of economic-social ties, people-to-people ties, between any country in the region and the United States are so much deeper than anything that exists with China," Ferchen said.
“China created a special relationship with Chávez when he was alive and well, and in political control of the situation in Venezuela – even if some of his economic policies were ultimately unsustainable,” said Matt Ferchen, an expert on the China-Latin America relationship at Tsinghua University in Beijing. “And Maduro today is dealing with some of these outcomes.
The lack of worry about reducing gas prices could also provide U.S. lawmakers with some political cover to lift the ban, as many of them are chiefly concerned that such action may raise gas prices, according to David Livingston, an associate at Carnegie Endowment for International Peace's (CEIP) climate and energy program.
Deborah Gordon, director of the Energy and Climate program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, a Washington, D.C., think tank, said it may be time to update Jackson’s 1975 energy act, which among other things established the Strategic Petroleum Reserve and set energy-conservation benchmarks for appliances and other consumer products.
Marwan Muasher, a former foreign minister of Jordan who is now a vice president at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, predicted another domino effect in Syria as Russia and Iran find it difficult to sustain their economic, military and diplomatic support for President Bashar al-Assad.
“It’s seen as a very local, economic issue. The resources are in certain places, so that calls in a lot of local decision-making,” says Deborah Gordon, director of the energy and climate program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. But collectively, Gordon says, it makes sense for the federal government to oversee issues at a higher level.