The Elements Unfold: A Possible Bottom to Oil Prices
The process of going into lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic has been revealing, especially in regards to oil. There are many elements to the smooth operation of global oil logistics that are now facing potential problems due to the unprecedented lockdowns. Here are a few of these elements and the complications the lockdown process is exposing.
Between a Rock and a Hard Place: Iraq’s Pledge to Cut Oil Production
Iraq faces an uphill battle in meeting its obligations to the historic production cut agreement reached by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and other major producers such as Russia. The production cuts are due to begin today. Not only is Baghdad mired in deep economic and political crises that show little signs of abating but Iraq’s complex service agreements with international oil companies (IOCs) operating its southern fields means that the Gulf producer would actually have to pay more money to the foreign firms working in its oil sector in excess of existing service fees if it demands the IOCs rein in output to help Iraq meet its targeted quotas. The supplemental fees, which could be millions of dollars, are stipulated in the oil field service contracts that Iraq holds with foreign oil companies that have been assisting with its oil production capacity expansion program over the last several years. The payments structure for Iraq’s service contracts means that output cuts put an added financial strain on the ability of OPEC’s second largest oil producer to comply fully with its pledged one million b/d plus output reductions in the coming months.
Oil Price War: Is U.S. Shale The First To Blink?
As the oil price war continues, markets are hanging on every word coming from Washington, Moscow and Riyadh, amid signs that diplomacy could be afoot. A statement by the Kremlin’s presidential spokesperson, that Russia would like to see higher prices, signaled that Russia might be willing to blink in the Russia-Saudi oil price standoff. It appears that the fall in the ruble is larger than Moscow expected, prompting them to use up foreign currency reserves at a faster clip than anticipated. Russia could also be finding it more difficult to sell its oil in China and Europe.
Why Current Saudi-Russia Oil Price War Is Not Déjà Vu
It’s happened several times before: geopolitical tensions between Saudi Arabia and Russia have led to a dramatic drop in oil prices in years past. But the breakdown in Saudi-Russian cooperation in oil markets over the weekend is strikingly different this time.
Concerns Over the Coronavirus Spread to the Oil Industry
The first priority in addressing the coronavirus is preserving global health. Lessons from the past show that the herculean task requires timely and credible action by governments, coordinating leade…
2020 Presidential Candidates Race to Renewable Energy, But How Will They Get There?
This is a guest post by Zoe Dawson, a recent graduate of The Center for Global Affairs at New York University. She was previously an intern for Energy and Climate Policy at the Council on Foreign Rel…