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⚡ "Oil, Gas & the Russia-Ukraine Conflict"

Columbia Energy Exchange

Photo by okeykat / Unsplash

Table of Contents

Host: Jason Bordoff
Guest: Meghan O’Sullivan | Director of the Geopolitics of Energy Project | Harvard University
Category: ⚡Energy

Podcast’s Essential Bites:

[19:38] MO: “Iran and Venezuela […] are obviously places to watch in this current […] tightness of the oil market. So there has been this desire to reach an Iran deal for some time and before the invasion, there was a sense that the Biden Administration was getting close with Iran and that there might soon be a deal. […] There's yet another reason why there's so much interest in this deal being clenched. And that has to do with the fact that Iran is maybe the most obvious place where you could get some amount of oil quickly onto the markets to help alleviate the shortages that we're seeing.”

[22:08] MO: “We're looking at a situation where a few 100,000 barrels here and there is going to matter. We heard […] from [German] Chancellor Scholz […] that Europe does not intend to [ban Russian oil]. […] My expectation is, we're going to see […] increasing pressures on governments, as we've seen on companies, who will increasingly be accused of funding Russia's efforts against Ukraine. And when it's put in that language, it gets very political.

[37:59] MO: “The United States can also potentially fill in some of the gaps in the market that might arise over the coming year. […] Obviously, there's a recalibration on the part of the industry, which has up until now decided to return […] more to shareholders than to reinvest. But now, when prices are moving as high as they are, I think there'll be a lot of pull to bring some of that capital back into investing in production and that we're probably going to see more shale brought to market than had been anticipated even a couple of months ago.”

[38:58] MO: “What I think is very interesting […] is whether or not there may be an opening for a more more bipartisan approach in the United States towards energy and even climate policy. […] The last time that you had […] a more conservative national security oriented part of the American politic, aligned with environmentalists, on energy, this was in the mid 2000s, when the United States was really looking at very, very heavy import dependence. Two thirds of the oil we consumed came from abroad and came from regimes that people didn't want to be supporting. […] And right now we have this current situation, [where] there's a real national security imperative to it. Is it possible that conservatives understand that developing alternative energies and being more self-sufficient around the world is going to be in the national security interest? And you have environmentalists perhaps understanding that there are national security imperatives around oil and gas production at home. And is there something there where there can be an agreement that spans the short and the long term. In the short term, we're going to need to supply more oil and gas to markets, in part because the US is now underpinning European energy security.“

[49:34] MO: “At what price does the world start moving into more recessionary territory? And that, I think, will be concerning, not only for global economies, but also for oil producers like Saudi Arabia that have always been very interested in ensuring that high prices don't result in that reality.”

[49:59] “We have a climate crisis on top of a national security crisis.[…] When these two things seem to be pitted against one another, it seems likely that the climate crisis is the one that loses out. […] So I think there's certainly scope for this to lead to a doubling down of maybe Europe’s, maybe the United States’ approach towards the energy transition. But that's not yet clear. […] What is clear is that policymakers really need to find a way to encourage the market and others to take actions that will ensure we have enough affordable and available supply of energy during the transition. But those policies don't prevent us from realizing the energy transition over the medium and longer term. I think that's a very hard basket of policies to identify and to build political consensus around.”

Rating: ⚡⚡⚡

🎙️ Full Episode: Apple | Spotify | Google
🕰️ 54 min | 🗓️ 03/08/2022
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