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An Energy Trade War Is Brewing

Trade War

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- Turkey has withdrawn its oil and gas exploration vessel from the Eastern Mediterranean in a move some media attribute to EU sanctions possibly coming next week.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 law at this point, due to the timing amid a change…

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