Geopolitics Back in Driving Seat of Energy Prices

Following the 2014 crash in oil prices, a number of leading market commentators concluded that the era of geopolitics mattering for the oil market was over.

In their view, short-cycle U.S. production was waiting in the wings to fill any supply gap and would swiftly cap any price upside. It was in this context that OPEC’s obituaries once again abounded, with the sovereign producer group seen as resigned to lower for longer (or even lower forever) and too hopelessly divided to return to active market management.


West Texas Intermediate graph

Yet even now, despite the recent run-up in oil prices, this narrative continues to carry considerable currency. The teaser for the panel on energy markets that I am speaking on at the Milken Institute Global Conference, highlights relentless U.S. production offsetting OPEC reductions, renewables disrupting traditional energy markets, and the geopolitical implications of US production growth displacing Russia as the world’s largest oil producer.

Yet, we think that there are broader geopolitical factors at play, as geopolitics have returned to the fore for a number of major producer states as well as the oil market generally in 2018. The oil market has tightened significantly in no small part due to the effectiveness of OPEC in draining bloated global inventories as well as the healthy demand outlook.

via CNBC

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Alfonso Esparza

Alfonso Esparza

Senior Currency Analyst at Market Pulse
Alfonso Esparza specializes in macro forex strategies for North American and major currency pairs. Upon joining OANDA in 2007, Alfonso Esparza established the MarketPulseFX blog and he has since written extensively about central banks and global economic and political trends. Alfonso has also worked as a professional currency trader focused on North America and emerging markets. He has been published by The MarketWatch, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal and The Globe and Mail, and he also appears regularly as a guest commentator on networks including Bloomberg and BNN. He holds a finance degree from the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (ITESM) and an MBA with a specialization on financial engineering and marketing from the University of Toronto.
Alfonso Esparza