Uncertainty reigns supreme in oil markets. On the one hand the rollout of Covid vaccines spells positivity for the demand trajectory. On the other, concerns over rising cases in major Asian economies have raised the prospect of fresh restrictions hitting demand. Irrespective of this, Opec’s latest monthly report points to demand remaining well below 2019-levels by year-end.

UAE Energy Minister Suhail al-Mazrouei sought to paint a positive picture of the oil markets for 2021 this week, but he is increasingly a lone voice. Speaking at Gulf Intelligence’s Global UAE Energy Forum on 13 January, Mr Mazrouei said that “I am optimistic that by the end of the year or beginning of 2022, we will see that [market] balance.” (CONTINUED - 942 WORDS)