A week after attacks on Saudi oil facilities shut down nearly 6% of the global oil supply, Brent futures prices are up less than $5/b. The market reaction has been wrong, though, giving Saudi estimates that output will quickly return far too much credibility and significantly undervaluing an increase in geopolitical risk, says Amy Myers Jaffe, a longtime market and policy expert.
Jaffe believes that the market should be far more skeptical of Saudi claims on output recovery and needs to brace for more frequent and more substantial attacks on Middle East oil supply. The attack on the Saudi's Abqaiq oil facility was once thought of as "unthinkable," she said. Now, disruptions of massive amounts of supply in Saudi Arabia, Iraq, the UAE and Kuwait are increasingly possible, she said.
Much of the Middle East's oil supply, Jaffe believes, is now a hostage in a conflict with no clear end.
Jaffe is the David M. Rubenstein senior fellow for energy and the environment and director of the program on Energy Security and Climate Change at the Council on Foreign Relations.