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Key oil producers in OPEC and beyond are wracked by war, instability, violent protests and economic sanctions. Events in Iraq, Russia and Libya – to mention just three – all have the ability to profoundly affect global oil supply/demand balances and massively move prices. Yet in all three, the impact on global supply/demand balances remain unclear. Oil prices, for now, remain calm.
That events in Libya and Russia/Ukraine are likely to have a major effect on world oil markets going forward is little disputed. The growing sanctions ‘war’ between Russia and the EU is likely to depress economic growth and thus world oil demand (and prices) in the short-to-medium term. In Libya, despite continued violence, the supply outlook is, tentatively, looking more positive than it has for several months.
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