The Fuse

Petropolitics

OPEC/MENA

Saudi Arabia and Russia Deepen Energy Ties, Set to Continue Oil Market ‘Cooperation’

Saudi Arabia and Russia successfully collaborating on tightening fundamentals and lifting prices, if it continues, will likely have large ramifications for the global oil market in the future, given that both are in a position of strength with high production volumes and large proven reserves. Read More

OPEC/MENA

Aramco’s Market Power to Grow With Expansion of Trading Unit

Saudi Arabia’s plans to buy and sell third-party crude prompt concerns about how widely Aramco will expand its trading apparatus and how it will use its market power. Read More

OPEC/MENA

OPEC’s False Narrative

OPEC is trying to spin recent price developments to show that it is fostering market stability in an effort to assist both consumers and producers. But recent talk of a more balanced market creates a false narrative Read More

OPEC/MENA

High Energy Stakes for Kurdish Referendum

The Kurdish predicament is defined by energy and oil. Their assets hold the promise of prosperity and independence—but they also serve as tripwires for conflict and sources of leverage for opponents. Read More

OPEC/MENA

OPEC Set to Extend Cuts as Fundamentals, Price Move in Cartel’s Direction

When discussing the “success” surrounding OPEC’s cuts, it’s important to remember where the market was at the beginning of 2016, when prices fell below $30. Now, prices are in the mid-$50s, reflecting the impact of OPEC's actions. Read More

Economics

Brent-WTI Spread Widens, But U.S. Exports Keep It In Check

The spread between benchmarks Brent and WTI has widened recently, a reflection of a sharp increase in U.S. shale production this year at a time when OPEC is cutting back. Read More

OPEC/MENA

Why Haven’t More Petro-states Failed?

In the aftermath of the 2014 price fall, producer countries have had to reevaluate policy and economic strategy while contending with a persistent glut that may dampen prices for some time, further undermine their budgets, and possibly cause domestic strife. Read More

OPEC/MENA

Death by a Thousand Cuts

Markets are shrugging off OPEC headlines, with prices weakening and hedge funds liquidating long positions. The cartel may be missing the mark on its stated longer-term goal of stabilizing the market and preventing a catastrophic correction. Read More

Petropolitics

Russia Ramps Up Arctic Ambitions Despite Low Prices

The Arctic’s strategic importance to Moscow helps explain why Russia is moving ahead so aggressively in the region while the economic case for doing so is questionable Read More

OPEC/MENA

Venezuela’s Economic Upheaval Alters Oil Trade Flows

The economic calamity in Venezuela is having a ripple effect on the oil market, altering long-standing trade flows and hollowing out the country’s oil-producing assets. Read More

OPEC/MENA

A Kingpin’s View of OPEC Compliance

Between now and OPEC's next meeting in May, much more must be done in order to make sure the cuts are fairly distributed, slackers come around, and non-OPEC members stick to the deal. Read More