Publications: Notes at the Margin

Hook to OPEC's Rescue (January 14, 2019)


The preparation of a weekly report on oil can be a frustrating task, especially when there is little news. The problem is made worse when the author has been whipping the same horse toward the finish line for more than a month. By this time, few want to read more about delta hedging or options.


Thus, one focus of this report was going to be—and is—the impacts that certain government leaders will have on petroleum demand. The leaders are Presidents Macron of France, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador of Mexico, and Donald Trump of the United States. Each has taken steps that will reduce petroleum use in his country. However, except for Mexico, the impacts are difficult to ascertain at this point. The subject is also not very exciting.


Fortunately, a statement by Brian Hook, the US State Department’s Special Representative for Iran, on Saturday came at precisely the right time. The Reuters headline read, "U.S. not looking to grant further Iran oil sales waivers: U.S. official."


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