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An oil pump is seen at sunset near Reims, France.

REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol

Does the world really need more oil right now?

We’ve heard dire warnings in recent weeks from oil industry analysts and professionals about how already-high oil prices could rise to record levels in the coming months. Goldman Sachs has increased its price forecast for the second half of the year to $135 per barrel. Trading giant Trafigura predicted that prices could rise even higher to over $150 per barrel.

Underpinning these alarms are fears that the war in Ukraine will lead to a big fall in Russian crude production and exports. Ever since Russia invaded its western neighbor, markets have been on alert for signs of acute disruptions that would squeeze crude supplies.

But what if they are looking in the wrong direction? What if the fixation on the risk of a supply shock (losing Russian barrels) is diverting attention from a very real weakening of global demand for oil?

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Luisa Vieira

The Graphic Truth: What do Americans pay for in a gallon of gas?

US gas prices are hitting record levels due to a combination of Russia's war in Ukraine, supply chain snarls linked to China’s zero-COVID policy, and high demand coupled with low supply. Americans are not amused, and some are directing their anger at President Joe Biden, who's pulling every trick in the book to try to bring down oil prices. The thing is, crude is not the only thing you pay for at the pump. We take a look at the breakdown.

Ari Winkleman

The Graphic Truth: Who bought the most Russian oil?

Before Vladimir Putin decided to invade Ukraine, Russia was supplying more than 10% of global crude oil supplies. That share has dwindled in recent months as many countries have (slowly) piled onto a boycott of Russian energy to punish the Kremlin for the ongoing onslaught. To make up the shortfall, the US has been pressuring other oil-producing behemoths – like the Saudis – to up oil production. There are even reports that Washington is contemplating the loosening of sanctions on pariah-state Venezuela to tap into that country’s vast crude oil reserves. We take a look at which countries imported the most crude oil from Russia up until recent embargoes were introduced, as well as which states have the largest proven oil reserves in the world.

This comes to you from the Signal newsletter team of GZERO Media. Subscribe for your free daily Signal today.

A satellite image shows the Mariupol Drama Theatre before the bombing.

Maxar Technologies/Handout via REUTERS

What We're Watching: Ukrainian shelter attacked, gas prices up, Iran nuclear deal rumblings

Another tragedy strikes Mariupol

A week after attacking a hospital in Mariupol, Russian forces on Wednesday reportedly targeted civilians again in the southeastern Ukrainian city by bombing a theater where up to 1,200 people were sheltering. The number of casualties is unknown, and the Kremlin denies any responsibility. Meanwhile, Mariupol remains encircled by Russians, which means the city’s 300,000 residents have nowhere to run. They are struggling with little access to electricity, food, or water — some are even melting snow to survive. Just a day after 20,000 city residents managed to flee through a humanitarian corridor, civilians are now stuck in the port city and risk becoming targets. The fact that the mighty Russian army is resorting to such brutal actions to conquer a mid-sized city suggests that the military campaign is not going to plan for Vladimir Putin.

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Paige Fusco

The Graphic Truth: Where does the US import oil from?

The Biden administration on Tuesday banned US oil imports from Russia to punish its invasion of Ukraine. Although the US — the world's second-largest producer of crude — is a net exporter of black gold and far less dependent on Russian oil than European countries, the move will likely still hurt Americans via higher gas prices until other US oil suppliers ramp up production to fill the void. We take a look at where the US buys its crude from.

Paige Fusco

The Graphic Truth: Oil prices surge over Ukraine war

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has sent energy prices soaring. One-month futures of Brent — the industry standard for the type of crude oil favored in international markets — topped $100 a barrel on Thursday for the first time since ... Russia annexed Crimea in 2014. That’s because traders are worried about possible supply disruptions or even sanctions that could interrupt flows from Russia, the world’s third-largest oil producer. Consumers, meanwhile, will feel that jump at the pump, because pricier crude drives up already high gasoline prices. But oil market jitters have been growing since Putin began massing troops around Ukraine last November. Here’s a look back at how prices have responded at key moments in the crisis.

Pandemic, shift to renewables speed up Big Oil's S-E Asia exit

October 12, 2020 5:00 AM

The Covid-19 pandemic and an ongoing shift to renewables are accelerating an exodus of the world's largest oil and gas companies from South-east Asia, dimming prospects for investment and raising the possibility of supply shortages once demand recovers.

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