Events affecting Oil price stability

Recent events in the Middle East and North Africa region have unsettled an already tightening oil market, leaving

market participants to evaluate and cope with the possible short- and long-term effects of both current and

potential supply disruptions. While events that cause oil disruptions may be transitory, their impact on oil

production levels can persist for an extended period.

Analysts polled by Reuters last week forecast oil prices will hold over $100 per barrel through 2013, due to

tensions in the Middle East, with average forecasts for the year raised by $12 to over $104 per barrel.

US crude fell 8¢ to stand at $108.26 a barrel, while Brent crude dropped 19¢ to $122.03 a barrel at 06.47 GMT, after rising to $122.89 on Tuesday.

Crude oil prices have been on the rise due to unrest in:

Libya Africa’s fourth largest oil exporter.

crisis in Japan

Protests in Yemen, Syria, and by Shi’ites in Saudi Arabia

Nigeria’s turbulent oil and gas sector

Oil demand from China in November hit a record 9.3 million barrels per day, analysis by Platts indicated. That is

13.1 percent higher than November 2009.


China has increased its interest rates to counter inflation, thereby curbing fuel demand growth. This has slowed down the level of price rise per barrel temporarily.

Saudi Arabia supplied the most crude oil to China, diverting sources from Western markets, according to the Platts

news reports. China now make up about 50 percent of Saudi Arabia’s total crude exports.

Chinese crude imports from Saudi Arabia during the first two months of 2011 totaled about 60 million barrels of

oil, about 25 percent more than the same period last year.

China has passed the United States as the world’s largest energy consumer. according to an IEA report last year

the surging Beijing economy has redefined the global energy sector.

Increase in subsalt production in Brazil will allow the country to emerge as a major oil exporter by 2020. Brazil’s oil production is expected to reach close to 5.2 million barrels per day (bpd) by 2020


The Gulf of Guinea runs from Guinea on Africa’s northwestern tip to Gabon in the south and includes Nigeria, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Cameroon.

Gulf of Guinea nations produce more than 3 million barrels of oil per day — about 4 percent of the global total with the bulk coming from Nigeria (2.2 million bpd).

Smaller producers include Equatorial Guinea (300,000 bpd), Congo Republic (340,000 bpd), Gabon (230,000 bpd),

Cameroon (66,000 bpd) and Ivory Coast (40,000 bpd).


>Oil and Gas Press