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Tanker ships in the Gulf of Oman off the coast of the UAE. Photo: Giuseppe Cacace/AFP/Getty Images

The weekend brought fresh pledges to protect oil tankers following last week's attacks in the Gulf of Oman, but markets picked up where they left off Friday, reacting more to bearish economic signs than heightened security fears.

Why it matters: Over 18 million barrels of oil per day — nearly a fifth of global demand — pass through the Strait of Hormuz.

Where it stands: The security of oil moving through the strait was prominent at a previously scheduled weekend meeting of G20 energy ministers in Japan, per S&P Global Platts and other reports.

  • The summit communique states: "In light of recent developments highlighting concerns about energy security, the G20 Energy Ministers acknowledge energy security as one of the guiding principles for the transformation of energy systems," Bloomberg reports.

What they're saying: "We always defend freedom of navigation. We are going to work to build out a set of countries that have deep vested interest in keeping that strait open to help us do that," Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Sunday on CBS News' "Face the Nation," noting Asian nations' reliance on oil moved through the area.

But, but, but: Economic headwinds are checking oil prices despite the rise in geopolitical tensions.

  • "Oil prices slipped on Monday as signs of an economic slowdown amid international trade disputes began to outweigh supply fears that were stoked by attacks on oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman last week and sent prices higher," Reuters reports.
  • However, there are already other costs. A bunch of stories, like this Bloomberg piece, note surging prices for insuring tankers moving through the region.

Go deeper: A crude tug of war on the global oil market

Go deeper

Column / Harder Line

New England power fight foreshadows divisive clean energy future

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

It wasn’t his first choice, but Sean Mahoney isn’t fighting a 150-mile proposed power line sending Canadian hydropower to New England as part of the region’s climate-change goals.

Why he matters: Mahoney, a senior expert at the nonprofit Conservation Law Foundation who lives in Maine, is seeking to compromise in a bitter battle over the proposal. Expect more fights like this as President Biden and other political leaders pursue zero-carbon economies over the next 30 years.

Mike Allen, author of AM
9 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Biden adviser Cedric Richmond sees first-term progress on reparations

Illustration: "Axios on HBO"

White House senior adviser Cedric Richmond told "Axios on HBO" that it's "doable" for President Biden to make first-term progress on breaking down barriers for people of color, while Congress studies reparations for slavery.

Why it matters: Biden said on the campaign trail that he supports creation of a commission to study and develop proposals for reparations — direct payments for African-Americans.

Cyber CEO: Next war will hit regular Americans online

Any future real-world conflict between the United States and an adversary like China or Russia will have direct impacts on regular Americans because of the risk of cyber attack, Kevin Mandia, CEO of cybersecurity company FireEye, tells "Axios on HBO."

What they're saying: "The next conflict where the gloves come off in cyber, the American citizen will be dragged into it, whether they want to be or not. Period."

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