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Price Wars and Pandemic: How Coronavirus and a Russia-Saudi Dispute are Affecting Oil Supply

March 13, 2020

Episode Notes:

On Monday, oil prices dropped over 20% in the international market, the result of a disagreement between Russia and Saudi Arabia over production limits.  The price shock, coupled with uncertainty over demand sparked by the global impact of the COVID 19 virus, contributed to the US Dow Jones Industrial Average dropping over 4,000 points in trading on Monday, a decline of almost 15%.

Dr. Gregory Brew joins us to explain the politics, production calculations, and potential pitfalls of the current oil market.  Dr. Brew is a postdoctoral fellow at Southern Methodist University’s Center for Presidential History.  He completed his PhD at Georgetown University in 2018, where he studied oil as an element in international Cold War politics, the development movement, global capitalism, and the formation and consolidation of the Iranian regime under the Shah as an oil-dependent state.  Warcast listeners can read one of his most recent works, “The Collapse Narrative: The United States, Mohammed Mossadegh and the Coup Decision of 1953” in Volume 2/Issue 4 of the Texas National Security Review.

[ 01:25 ] What led to the current dispute between Russia and Saudi Arabia?  What, exactly did each nation do regarding production?

[ 03:27 ] How is this likely to affect other oil producing countries, including the US?

[ 04:25 ] Will it differently affect different types of oil, or will fungibility spread the impact?

[ 05:25 ] What would you anticipate would be the next move/development?

[ 06:45 ] What do you foresee as the overall impact to the US economy, including effect on gas prices?

[ 08:14 ] How would you anticipate that this dispute might impact the ongoing proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran in Yemen?

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