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More Volatility Than Oil Can Handle

Politics, Geopolitics & Conflict

- Russian troops continue to withdraw from northern Ukraine, having left the Kyiv region to refocus on the east primarily and parts of the south. This maneuver is being interpreted in various ways. One interpretation is that the Russians have suffered too many losses and lack reinforcements to effectively capture the north and are instead focusing on expanding their hold in the Donbas region, which is what we initially expected them to do when the threat loomed in February. An alternative interpretation is that the Russians are simply regrouping and resupplying for another assault on the north. The destruction in the east is devastating, and as evidence of atrocities against Ukrainian civilians piles up, there are indications that the European Union could reconsider a ban on Russian oil. These atrocities and mounting cries of “war crimes” could push it over the edge, creating far more volatility for oil prices in the interim. Some analysts have even suggested $150 oil as a result of what this would mean for Russian output. Combine this with the looming threat from the Iranian-back Houthis on both Saudi and UAE targets and we have more volatility than oil can handle.

- While all is quiet in Libya as the next storm involving another parallel government setup collects momentum, what we expect to see is a notable shift in external strategy and external alliances with Libyan factions as a direct result of Russia’s…

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