Crude prices continue their vertiginous rise in the middle of the week, the two major world references having crossed the $110 mark during the night. The barrel of Brent from the North Sea is currently jumping 6% to 111.3 dollars in London, on a level more observed since the beginning of July 2014. American light crude (WTI) climbs for its part by 6% to 109.7 dollars on the Nymex, the highest since September 2013.
Hours from a crucial OPEC+ meeting, fears of a global supply disruption have never been stronger following heavy sanctions imposed on Russian banks after the escalating conflict in Ukraine. The situation in the energy markets is very serious, did not hesitate to declare on Tuesday the executive director of the IEA, Fatih Birol.
Governments around the world are facing growing inflationary pressure as multiple sanctions targeting Moscow have accelerated the upswing in energy, metals, and grain prices. This prompted the United States and its allies to release 60 million barrels of strategic oil reserves in an attempt to appease prices, although similar action late last year had little impact. impact on prices. Yesterday's news - equivalent to less than a day's worth of global oil consumption - only seems to have amplified market fears.
In this environment, and despite the glaring imbalance of the market, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies, including Russia, should stick to their current agreement of a gradual increase in their production of 400,000 barrels per year. day each month. And this while several members of the cartel have all the trouble in the world to meet their production targets. "OPEC+'s commitment to increase supply is so far a promise on paper," says Louise Dickson, senior oil market analyst at Rystad Energy, noting that members of the organization are producing at levels around 800,000 b/d below target quotas.
"I can only see oil going up," Daniel Hynes, senior commodity strategist at Australia and New Zealand Banking Group, told Bloomberg. "The market is waking up to the reality that we were already experiencing with the constraints on Russian oil without any formal sanctions. It's hard to see what OPEC can do."
The impact of Russia's invasion of Ukraine is visible all over the world. Oil majors such as BP and Shell are leaving Russia, banks around the world including in Singapore are restricting commodity trade finance and Britain has banned all ships with a Russian connection from entering its harbors.