Crude oil prices are ticking up this morning but down sharply this week as 2023 begins with economic and demand headwinds trumping Russian sanctions in driving the market, Ben writes.

The big picture: The global benchmark Brent crude opened the year in the mid-$80s per barrel but plunged below $78 yesterday before regaining some ground.

What they’re saying: “Warning signs of global recession, China’s lackluster recovery with surging Covid-19 cases, and dampened risk sentiment are all catalysts keeping oil prices in check,” said IG Asia Pte analyst Jun Rong Yeap, per Bloomberg.

Elsewhere on our petro radar…

💰 Exxon is expected to report another round of boffo profits in a few weeks, but the Q4 commodity retreat will cut earnings, a new filing shows.

  • Driving the news: Lower natural gas prices are expected to trim earnings by roughly $2-$2.4 billion, while lower crude prices will shave off roughly $1.3-$1.7 billion, Exxon projects.
  • The big picture: “[P]reliminary operational results confirmed 2022 was Exxon’s best financial year with profits of around $58 billion,” Reuters reports.

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