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An Energy Trade War Is Brewing

Politics, Geopolitics & Conflict

- Trump is adding China’s national offshore oil and gas producer, CNOOC, to the U.S. defense blacklist, launching a salvo that looks a lot like a brewing energy war at a time when American investors are - for the first time - looking to add more China shares to their portfolio for post-COVID recovery. It’s a mess for the incoming administration to deal with, but for now, stick to the non-energy China stocks to boost your portfolio.

- Turkey has withdrawn its oil and gas exploration vessel from the Eastern Mediterranean in a move some media attribute to EU sanctions possibly coming next week. We find this sentiment out of line with Turkey’s general modus operandi: It is very unlike Erdogan to withdraw from exploration because the EU is “pondering” sanctions. The EU is continually “pondering” sanctions and they rarely emerge as much of a threat to Turkey’s out-sized energy ambitions at a time when it is desperately scrambling for a foothold as it becomes isolated in the Mediterranean. The more likely reason behind the withdrawal is exploration failure.

- In another well-timed challenge to Western powers, Iran’s parliament has advanced a bill to end UN inspections of its nuclear facilities and to boost uranium enrichment if the EU does not extend a fig leaf of relief from oil and banking sanctions. This is being tossed out very publicly, even though it is far from becoming…

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