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Oil steadies, traders weigh outlook

In this interview Manus Cranny from Bloomberg, Christof Rühl, member of the Advisory Board of Crystol Energy and a Senior Fellow at the Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University, discusses the macro-picture of the energy markets. 

Christof Rühl (right) discusses the macro-picture of the energy markets with Manus Cranny from Bloomberg

Some of the key points covered during the discussion:

  1. The risk with Russia manipulating its gas supplies to Europe is that the Europeans are letting these manipulations happen. Moreover, we are seeing major European countries switching back to coal and other sources of energy supplies.
  2. Up to this point, the European Union has managed to find a common denominator for sanctioning Russian oil, first by banning seaborne oil imports from Russia to then target oil pipelines, such as the Druzbha pipeline, at a later stage. In gas markets, the approach has been moving on a country-by-country basis and so far only four countries have refused the ruble payment system which led to the cut off of Russian gas supplies.
  3. The crude oil market is the least dramatic market among other energy markets as there are several safety margins: First, through the 1 million barrels per day Strategic Petroleum Reserves (SPRs) release by the US. Second through the spare capacity held by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. And finally, with the possible ramp up of oil exports by Iran and Venezuela as talks with the US are being revived.

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