Publications: Notes at the Margin

Oil Markets: 1990 Redux; The Three Stranders - and Their Squires (March 7, 2022)


In today’s report, we make two points. First, oil markets are following the pattern observed in 1990 after Saddam Hussein (another thug of Putin’s ilk) invaded Kuwait. Next, we note that Putin, Saudi Arabia’s crown prince Mohammed bin Salman, and Abu Dhabi’s crown prince Mohamed bin Zayed have become what we dub the “three stranders.” These individuals—together with their squires, the CEOs of US independent oil companies such as Pioneer Resources—have embarked on a program that will maximize the stranding, i.e., abandonment, of fossil fuel resources.


Of course, the three stranders have no idea that they are accomplishing a feat dear to the hearts of environmental warriors or that they are bringing the end of fossil fuels closer. However, between the carnage in Ukraine and the idiotic failure of oil-exporting countries to boost production last week, these deeds have been done. It will take six or seven years to see the full impact. By 2030, however, historians will write about how the three stranders killed fossil fuels and perhaps even about how US producers contributed to oil’s end.


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