Opec’s leading lights routinely bemoan the lack of industry investment as risking a near-term supply crunch. The lack of global spare capacity was firmly in the spotlight for much of 2022 amid expectations of a Russian output slump, and the failure of many Opec+ members to increase output in line with targets only exacerbated these concerns (MEES, 8 July 2022).

These supply concerns have receded in recent months as the focus has shifted to the health of the global economy, while Russian output has defied the sceptics and remained robust. But as China’s economy re-opens, concerns are growing of a potential supply shortfall in the second half of the year (MEES, 20 January). (CONTINUED - 929 WORDS)