Abu Dhabi: Oil prices saw record increases on Monday with gains of nearly 20 per cent as markets reacted to the news of attacks against two Saudi oil installations, which cut the country’s oil production by 5.7 million barrels per day (bpd).
Brent Futures reached above $71 when markets opened in Asia, with West Texas Intermediate (WTI) also reaching as high as $63. Both prices have since then settled with Brent trading at $65.27 and WTI on $59.28 at around 3pm local UAE time.
An update on the oil plants is expected to be provided by Aramco on Tuesday, with prices set to be impacted yet again depending on the news.
On its part, Opec said that an extraordinary meeting was not on the cards yet and that no decision had been taken to raise their output production.
Speaking to Bloomberg, Opec secretary general Sanusi Barkindo said the situation at the Saudi oil facilities was now under control and that Saudi authorities had assured its customers that supply would not be affected thanks to their inventory reserves.
Meanwhile, Suhail Al Mazrouei, UAE’s Minister of Energy and Industry, echoed the same view and said the UAE was ready to meet any disruptions in the short term with its own spare capacity. Russia’s energy minister Alexander Novak also said there was enough global oil stockpiles to replace any lost Saudi production in both the short and medium term. The energy minister said he would also be speaking to his Saudi counterpart, prince Abdul Aziz Bin Saud later in the day.
“The uncertainty about what happens next is the reason why we should price in oil at a higher level than the $60 Brent that we have now had for the past three months. It looks like $65-$70 potentially in the short could be the new range,” said Ole S. Hanson, head of Commodity Strategy, Saxo Bank.
Hanson said that along with the disruption in oil production, that the threat of a military conflict would also be a factor in high oil prices.
“It’s more the military response if any that the market worries about because obviously there is a big geopolitical play right in the Middle East.
“Some kind of military response is keeping the market nervous now over the coming days,” he added.