Global oil markets are starting 2022 with a number of factors that could make for another volatile year, even apart from any further developments with the COVID pandemic. OPEC is continuing its monthly supply increases but taking a cautious approach given uncertain demand, while Iran may or may not come through with exporting oil, depending on talks with that country.
The US tapped the Strategic Petroleum Reserve in a big way at the end of last year, but that did little to soften prices. At the same time, Russia-Ukraine tensions are at the forefront geopolitically, and they have potential to exacerbate European and global energy prices. The world hit a peak of conventional oil production in 2005, and has relied on unconventional energy sources like liquefied natural gas (LNG), fracking and offshore drilling to keep up with demand. The pandemic showed, that the economy could continue on reduced oil supply, but most countries have brought demand back as the world returned to a semblance of normality.
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