RBC Capital Markets' Helima Croft warns that Russian President Vladimir Putin appears to be hewing to the motto of the notorious schemer in HBO's "Game of Thrones": "Chaos is a ladder."
The philosophy sums up the strategy of Petyr "Littlefinger" Baelish, who consolidates his influence by stirring chaos in the fictional continent Westeros. Putin is similarly advancing his interests in the oil market by putting Russia in the thick of geopolitical tension gripping several oil-producing nations, the widely followed oil analyst from RBC said in a recent research note.
"Russia looks set to capitalize on this chaos, having emerged as the preferred partner of stressed petro-states. Moscow may yet close out 2017 as the preeminent energy super power," Croft, the firm's global head of commodity strategy, and her colleagues concluded.
The analyst said Russia is playing a role in crises in Venezuela, Iran and Iraq, all of which could come to a head as soon as this month.