Russian Oil’s Vanishing Act

We are awash in news reports that the Europeans are poised to follow the US in banning all Russian Energy imports. 

Let me repeat: the Europeans are reportedly getting ready to ban imports from their largest supplier of crude oil, natural gas, and refined fuel products. 

A decision is unlikely this week, and implementation will take longer still (the UK’s year-long tapered cut off if a potential model), but the decision is largely inevitable. Even if the Europeans wanted to continue importing Russian energy, supplies are likely to become unreliable at best. Better for the Europeans to start planning for that future now.

In additional bad news for Russia, sending crude elsewhere like China is a non-starter. Outside of cost and insurance and potential sanctions concerns, a lack of reliable export infrastructure will certainly impede exports. And that’s even before we get to the fact that foreign tech and investment is headed out the door in Russia. A couple of weeks after supermajors like ExxonMobil and Shell announced that they were leaving Russia, the oil services companies – Halliburton, Schlumberger, Baker Hughes –  are exiting as well. Simply put: Russia can’t maintain its current level of output on its own. And the highly complex projects that make up so much of Moscow’s current oil and gas production really can’t be sustained by anyone else.

At the beginning of the COVID pandemic, we asked our readers who were so inclined and able to consider donating toward a cause we thought was important: Feeding America.

While we still believe strongly in their mission, with recent events in Ukraine we are asking our subscribers to consider supporting a charity focused on relief efforts there. There are many good ones to choose from, but one in particular we are supporting is the Afya Foundation.

They collect money and health supplies for underserved communities in the world, and have begun delivering non-combat support to refugees and population centers in Ukraine. We hope that those who can, join us.

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