The Great Recession ushered in a period of Western austerity and isolationism. When it did, top-down multilateralism dating back to World War II gave way to bottom-up diplomacy and financial sanctions displaced military force projection. Recent events may mark a return to the “old normal” that geopolitical implications for energy. January’s implementation of the July 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action turned Iran’s nuclear program into a downside risk for crude oil prices. The December 2015 climate agreement in Paris threatens to undercut long-term fossil energy demand, further weakening prices. At the same time, Russia’s Ukraine incursion and Syria intervention – to say nothing of smoldering proxy wars in the Middle East – suggest supply risks that an oversaturated oil market may be missing. Our targeted geopolitical coverage examines the decision sets and decision criteria of global leaders positioned to materially alter supply/demand fundamentals. In addition, our periodic Macro Energy Briefing tracks key themes, contextualizes recent developments and outlines our forward-looking projections of relevant economic and geopolitical trends.
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