Best in Energy – 21 March 2022

EU divided on whether to embargo Russian oil

India experiences run on retail diesel outlets

EU’s plan to refill gas storage risks price surge

EU’s short-term reliance on Russian gas ($FT)

Saudi Aramco says global oil market is very tight

U.K./Saudi summit and wider political relations

China civilian aircraft crashes with 132 on board

Economic sanctions – measuring effectiveness

Russia/Ukraine war enters attrition phase ($FT)

Russia/Ukraine war enters attrition phase ($WSJ)

China’s epidemic control in rural areas (trans.)

Sri Lanka’s rising energy bill risks default ($BBG)

BRENT futures open interest fell by a record 352 million barrels over the three weeks spanning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine from February 22 to March 15, tumbling to the lowest level since August 2015, as prices spiked higher, volatility increased, margins rose and liquidity dried up:

COAL went from a marginal fuel used in a handful of local areas to become an essential part of England’s pre-industrial economy between 1500 and 1700 – well before the commonly accepted start of the industrial revolution in the later 18th century. By 1700, coal had replaced wood as the dominant fuel for domestic heating in London and most urban centres, and was the main fuel for all manufacturing, including glass-making, salt production, brewing, dyeing, and nonferrous smelting, with the notable exception of iron making:

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Best in Energy – 18 March 2022

[MUST READ] Russia’s military failure ($WSJ)

IEA plan to restrain oil use by 2.7 million b/d

EU plan to replace Russian gas lacks realism

Oil market liquidity falls as volatility rises

Traders hit by rising margin calls ($BBG)

Russia’s oil exporters switch to private sales

IEA/EIA/OPEC divide on war impact ($BBG)

China holds epidemic policy meeting (trans.)*

U.S. shale smaller firms boost output ($WSJ)

Andurand’s path for oil to reach $200 ($BBG)

* The fact China’s top policymaking group held a meeting dedicated to coronavirus control and its impact on daily life and the economy, and chose to publicise it as the top item on all state-controlled websites, suggests the country’s leaders are deeply concerned about the extent and impact of the latest outbreaks.

BRENT’s six-month calendar spread has become highly volatile as traders try to assess whether or not sanctions will disrupt Russia’s exports and how much impact that will have on global oil supplies. In recent weeks, the spread in dollars per barrel has seen 5-10 standard deviation movements on multiple days, which is generating large P&L swings and margin calls:

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