It's all geopolitical. The Nigerians produce a lot of oil, but militants from the northern part of Nigeria have been attacking oil pipelines in the south. Nigeria produces about 3.3 percent of the world's oil, so a disruption wouldn't bring the global economy to its knees, but the threat adds to upward pressure on prices.
The big oil price mover is, of course, Iran.
It is expected that Iran will, today, announce it is loading domestically produced nuclear fuel into a reactor for the first time meaning that, despite all the fuel rod rattling from Western nations, Iran has been moving steadily into the nuclear weapons club.
Iran has become so certain of having a nuclear capability that its ships are openly mocking the U.S. Fifth Fleet which is guarding the lyrically named Strait of Hormuz (there is a map on today's Secret Decoder Ring page).
It is one thing to send bombers into Libya or Syria. Their ability to counterattack are limited. It is something else to rain JDAMs into a nuclear power like Iran - especially a nuclear power run by a maniac - because its Maniac-in-Chief has already publically committed to wipe Israel off the map and would use an attack from the West as the trigger.
While our focus on the Presidential election outcome has been predicated on economic growth in the United States, it is possible - trending toward probable - that it will be foreign affairs, not domestic issues, by which President Obama will be judged in November.
On the Secret Decoder Ring page today: Lot's o' Links today. In addition to the Strait of Hormuz map, there is a link to Doc Fix, to the IMF predictions, to the Chinese economic outlook and to a look at the U.S. economy.
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