Price of oil

The oil market's dueling pressures

An illustration of an oil tank that has been tipped over and oil is spilling out of it. A yellow background.
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Two pieces of news this morning distill the competing forces acting on oil markets these days.

The big picture: Geopolitical risks in the vital oil producing and transit region can cause short-lived price spikes, but at the same time, a drumbeat of bearish economic news is preventing a sustained price rise.

The fading Saudi oil freakout

Data: FactSet; Chart: Axios Visuals

Remember the Jurassic era of oil markets in, uh, mid-September, when aerial attacks left the Saudis reeling and talk of big geopolitical risk premium was all the rage? Things look rather different now.

Driving the news: Both Brent and WTI prices have come down a lot since soaring after the attacks that initially knocked 5.7 million barrels per day of Saudi production offline. The chart above captures WTI's moves.