What are the odds that OPEC would be holding its second meeting of the year on 2/2/22 and on Groundhog Day? – Asks Phil Flynn of the PRICE Futures Group.

Maybe numerologists could find some deep meaning in this unusual occurrence, perhaps signaling that a surprise from our favorite oil cartel is to be had if the Saudi Oil minister sees his shadow. Yet as we embark on Candlemas and the midpoint between the winter solstice in December and the spring equinox in March, I would not bet on it, nor would I bet that the groundhog will predict an early spring. Which I know is no comfort to those who are getting ready for a massive winter storm.

OPEC is under less pressure to raise output as the Biden administration has other problems that they are dealing with on the Ukraine border. The Biden administration can ill afford to try to threaten the cartel when they may need their help in the event of a Russian invasion. The Biden administration continues to suggest that they expect an attack, but acknowledges that Vladimir Putin has made a compelling case that it is the West that has violated agreements with Russia, which is forcing them into this uncomfortable situation.

Putin says that the West has violated its 1999 agreement, saying that has allowed weapons in former Soviet strongholds and suggests that the West is forcing their hand in Ukraine. Reuters reports that Russia said on Tuesday it would insist that Western governments respect a 1999 agreement that no country can strengthen its own security at the expense of others, an issue it argues is at the heart of the Ukraine crisis. Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said he raised the matter in a conversation with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, and that Blinken accepted the need to discuss it further. In the US readout of the call, the State Department said Blinken urged Russia to immediately pull back troops from Ukraine’s border and said Washington was willing to continue talking about mutual security concerns. 

Late-breaking news—it is official that OPEC is going to stick to the script and raise production by 400,000 barrels a day. Good luck with that. Other big stories for oil is weather and inventories. The API reported a mixed bag. Crude supply was down 1.645 million barrels, Cushing -1.031 million barrels, and Distillate -2.508 million barrels.

Winter is back and natural gas is rallying. The funny thing is that natural gas in Europe is selling off at a time when we’re rallying. It’s the inverse of what we’ve seen recently, and that is because the weather and Europe have been warmer than normal. That could change if war breaks out between Russia and Ukraine.

Learn more about Phil Flynn by visiting Price Futures Group.