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What The White House's Refusal To Refill The SPR Means For Oil

White House

Politics, Geopolitics & Conflict

After some 150 soldiers were killed this week in renewed fighting over Nagorno Karabakh, Armenia and Azerbaijan have agreed to a ceasefire. This ‘frozen’ and oft-unfrozen conflict dates back to the 80s, with territory considered as belonging to Azerbaijan but home to a large Armenian population, making for an untenable situation. Renewed fighting in 2020 led to Azerbaijan regaining control of territory here occupied by Armenia. Russia is the key to brokering ceasefires here.

In Iraq, there have been no new incidents of clashes in Baghdad or, importantly, in oil-rich Basra, but neither has there been any progress in solving the political impasse. We are keeping an eye on Turkish efforts to regain some lost influence here, as well as the Islamic State’s attempts to regroup amid the power vacuum and chaos–all of which will also impact Baghdad’s ongoing efforts to take control of oil in Iraqi Kurdistan.

Energy Markets

The White House threw up a test balloon earlier this week, suggesting that it could refill the SPR when oil sinks below $80–according to Bloomberg, citing an anonymous WH source. The point ostensibly would be to protect U.S. crude production growth and keep prices from plummeting by creating artificial demand via refilling the SPR to the tune of more than a hundred million barrels. (This would be at a time when inventory is currently at only 434 million barrels, compared to 593 million at the beginning…

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