Related Articles
Forward article link
Share PDF with colleagues

Prices are firming, but don't ignore shots across the bow

Supply disruptions are firming oil prices. But the market is still too blasé about the risks, which may include a shrinking spare-capacity buffer

FIVE years ago this month civil war in Libya had shut in most of the country’s oil production, spooking the market. The International Energy Agency (IEA), fearing a squeeze on Brent that was pushing its price above $110 a barrel, coordinated a stock release. It helped prevent a more damaging spike. Civil conflict in Libya – historically significant to crude markets because of the quality of its oil – is still shutting in much of its output. Violence and sabotage in the Niger Delta has cost Nigeria, another exporter of high-end crude, almost 0.8m barrels a day of production. Wildfires have disrupted output from Canada’s oil sands. The market has largely shrugged. Brent has firmed above $50/b

Also in this section
The price is right
5 April 2018
With the help of thirsty consumers and collapsing Venezuelan output, the market seems at last to have found its range
Opec and IEA bristle at Trump's trade posturing
16 March 2018
The IEA and Opec say Trump’s trade plans are a threat to global growth
Five key takeaways from the big three oil market reports
15 March 2018
Demand and supply data still diverge, Venezuela’s increasingly critical to balances, and some macro alarm bells are starting to ring