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Howdy folks .....

There seems to be quite some amazement at how high the trading range on the price of crude is settling in.

No doubt events in Venezuela, Nigeria and the Middle East are having some influence. However, stories persist that most members of OPEC are producing full out in order to maintain some normalcy in relations with the US and Europe.

I am considering in my mind the idea that perhaps Russia has supplanted OPEC as the new "swing producer". I have not read any theories on this anywhere and would appreciate a link if anyone has.

How could this be the case when Russia only produces 8mm boe /day for export?

Well, we know that Putin's gang is increasing its control of the petro-sector. We also know that Russia is awash in foreign currency. Whereas, in the west, this leads to demands to demands for 'social spending' and stripping of OilCo profits in Russia the government apparently does not need to respond to such pressures to stay in power.

So, if I was Vlad Putin, would I sooner sell 7mm bbl @ $ 70 or 8mm bbl @ $ 60?

Comments welcome,

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