The Complexity Of World Oil Markets

Lynne Kiesling

There’s a lot going on in world oil markets, as summarized in this Channel News Asia article. China is growing like gangbusters, shifting out demand for oil. Yukos, with a contract to supply them, is under fire from the Russian government (I am suspicious that it’s a case of expropriation on the part of the Russian government that the head of Yukos has been imprisoned and dogged for a year, but I don’t know for sure). Yukos has said it cannot fulfill its deliveries to China because its shipping costs have increased, which may or may not be a cover for other dynamics in their domestic government relationship. Hurricane Ivan damaged oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico. And OPEC says that they will lift their quota, but they are producing so close to capacity anyway that such a claim can have no substantive effect on world prices.

One thought on “The Complexity Of World Oil Markets

  1. An interesting feature of the current oil markets is the uniform way demand factors have lined up on cue – there are no significant offsets to the demand from China/USA/India/Japan etc or the impact of refining bottlenecks, deferred deliveries, terror premiums and what have you. Just where are the mitigating regional currency crisies, recessions/stagnations in larger economic blocks when you need them?

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