Russia, OPEC+, Europe and Energy Markets

In this interview with Loubna Bouza from Sky News Arabia, Dr Carole Nakhle, CEO of Crystol Energy, discusses the possibility of Russia cutting off gas supplies to Europe.

After the annexation of the Crimean peninsula in 2014, Russian energy supplies were not affected following the imposition of Western sanctions. However, today, the picture is more aggressive on both fronts and we cannot rule out extreme scenarios. After all, Russia’s energy and foreign policies are closely intertwined.

In oil markets, it is not all doom and gloom. OPEC is still holding significant spare capacity accounting to 4% of global production – a level which is much higher than what we saw for instance at the beginning of this century when it accounted to less than 1% of the world’s production around 2005. Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait hold the bulk of that capacity. Additional barrels can also come from the release of a coordinated and more significant share of the Strategic Petroleum Reserves, so will a deal with Iran. But it is not only supply. High prices can cause demand destruction.

Dr Carole Nakhle discussing the possibility of Russia cutting off gas supplies to Europe

Dr Nakhle doubts that OPEC+ will end any time soon but emphasises that the organisation can do more to “stabilise the market” should it want to.

In addition to oil, the Gulf countries in particular have close trade ties with Russia. Following the Crimea annexation in 2014, we saw an increase in investment by GCC Sovereign Wealth Fund in Russia.

With respect to gas pricing, Dr Nakhle explains that market pricing comes with volatility. This does not mean such a mechanism should be condemned. On the contrary, for years, Europe enjoyed ‘cheaper’ gas through such pricing.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine has pushed many countries in Europe to revisit their energy policies with countries like Germany considering expanding their LNG infrastructure.

Related Analysis

A suspenseful start for oil prices in 2022“, Dr Carole Nakhle, Feb 2022

No endgame for Ukraine“, Christof Rühl, Feb 2022

Related Comments

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine: The impact of sanctions“, Dr Carole Nakhle, Feb 2022

OPEC+ under pressure to increase output following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine“, Dr Carole Nakhle, Feb 2022

Global Economy and Energy Markets Weekly Commentary – 27th Feb ’22“, Christof Rühl, Feb 2022

Ukraine and Oil“, Dr Carole Nakhle, Feb 2022

Can Russia withstand another wave of sanctions?“, Dr Carole Nakhle, Feb 2022

EU Energy Policy amidst the Current Gas Crisis“, Dr Carole Nakhle, Feb 2022

Did Russia deliberately cause the gas crisis in Europe?“, Dr Carole Nakhle, Jan 2022

Share this:

Recent Posts