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Hasan Jamali / AP

Because of its rare capacity to add a lot of new oil onto the global market, Iran has emerged as one of the most disruptive forces in OPEC. Which is probably what got into the craw of the CEO of Saudi Arabia's state-owned oil giant today. Asked whether Iran will be his biggest competition, Amin H. Nasser was withering.

"Who?," said Nasser, drawing laughter at a Columbia University energy conference on Friday.

Why this matters: Iran has raised its oil production by about 1 million barrels a day — to roughly 4 million — since oil sanctions were lifted in January of 2016 as part of a nuclear research accord with the West. It remains far below the approximately 10 million barrels a day produced by Saudi Arabia, OPEC's dominant producer. But price is determined at the margin — when a player like Iran or the US shale oil patch adds a few hundred thousand barrels a day to the market, it can send oil prices plunging.

Nasser, echoing recent International Energy Agency findings, said that the global oil glut, which has been responsible for the plunge in oil prices over the last three years, is "getting close to rebalancing." And he said deferred or canceled investments by oil companies since 2014 could lead to a supply shortfall. "While the short-term market points to a surplus of oil, the supply required in coming years is falling behind," he said.

No peak: Nasser said the world is a long, long way from easing its thirst for his company's products. Referring to a new theory in the oil world—that demand for oil will peak over the coming decade and a half, and thus threaten the income of OPEC and other producers, he said, "Our belief is that peak demand is not in sight."

Go deeper

Scoop: FDA chief called to West Wing

Stephen Hahn. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows has summoned FDA commissioner Stephen Hahn to the West Wing for a 9:30am meeting Tuesday to explain why he hasn't moved faster to approve the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine, two senior administration officials told Axios.

Why it matters: The meeting is shaping up to be tense, with Hahn using what the White House will likely view as kamikaze language in a preemptive statement to Axios: "Let me be clear — our career scientists have to make the decision and they will take the time that’s needed to make the right call on this important decision."

Scoop: Schumer's regrets

Photo illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images   

Chuck Schumer told party donors during recent calls that the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the fact that Cal Cunningham "couldn't keep his zipper up" crushed Democrats' chances of regaining the Senate, sources with direct knowledge of the conversations tell Axios.

Why it matters: Democrats are hoping for a 50-50 split by winning two upcoming special elections in Georgia. But their best chance for an outright Senate majority ended when Cunningham lost in North Carolina and Sen. Susan Collins won in Maine.

Trump's coronavirus adviser Scott Atlas resigns

Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty

Scott Atlas, a controversial member of the White House coronavirus task force, handed in his resignation on Monday, according to three administration officials who discussed Atlas' resignation with Axios.

Why it matters: President Trump brought in Atlas as a counterpoint to NIAID director Anthony Fauci, whose warnings about the pandemic were dismissed by the Trump administration. With Trump now fixated on election fraud conspiracy theories, Atlas' detail comes to a natural end.