Analysts Differ on the Regions But Agree That Geopolitical Risk Weighs Heavily Against Crude
Some say it will negatively impact demand and others think it will send prices skyrocketing - depending on where the fighting breaks out.
Geopolitical woes could impact demand or send prices skyrocketing.
Geopolitical risk in the Middle East and beyond was one of the many fears analysts expressed this week in forecasting what's in store for the crude market after days of disappointing losses - and as West Texas Intermediate and Brent posted more declines on Friday, the topic was raised again, with two experts offering opposing views of what might happen in the near term.
Herman Wang, OPEC specialist at S&P Global Platts, told CNBC that geopolitical conflicts are not a threat to the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries: "It's nothing new to OPEC - they've worked through wars before, and I don't necessarily see that as threat to policy overall, and in fact we don't see any impact right now on Qatar's oil production."
He added that despite the politics, "Commercial agreements are commercial agreements" and arrangements are being worked out to sell cargoes between Saudi Arabia and Qatar on the open market.
One only has to have one mistake, and the only thing you'll be talking about all morning is oil at $120.
Neil Dwane, Allianz Global Investors
If anything has to be addressed, he went on to note, it's the fact that the militancy in Libya and Nigeria has abated, causing the resurgence of production in those two countries, which Wang says is undoing any good coming from the OPEC cutbacks.
On the other side of the coin, Neil Dwane, global strategist and chief investment officer at Allianz Global Investors, believes oil production supply is threatened around the world: he told CNBC that geopolitical risks other than those in the Middle East warrant serious scrutiny.
He said, "Venezuela's 2 million barrels of oil a day could literally go any day; Mexico looks poor; Azerbaijan's in trouble; China's own production is collapsing rapidly.
"One only has to have one mistake, and the only thing you'll be talking about all morning is oil at $120."
As alarmist as that may seem, the basic concept was supported by Herman Wang, OPEC specialist at S&P Global Platts: "There are plausible scenarios where you could see, perhaps not $120 a barrel, but an elevated oil price, say $70 to $80 on some of these geopolitical and some of the supply concerns; Venezuela certainly is a mess right now."
Skangas duel fuel LNG carrier Coral Energy (image credit/Skangas)
Liquified natural gas (LNG) bunker tanker Coralius has made its first trip loading and delivering LNG to and from Norwegian ports, according to trade press reports.
The 5,800 cubic meter capacity tanker, which is owned by Norwegian gas company Skangas, was delivered to the company in June. Skangas also operates LNG carrier Coral Energy.
OPEC Cutback Extension to be Discussed in November, But Developments Could Render Any Deal Meaningless
Analysts say everything from Saudi exploration to rising tensions with North Korea could radically alter the dynamics of the international market. File Image / Pixabay
Ever since the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) extended the duration of its production cuts earlier this year to March of 2018, speculation has been rampant that the meager cutback volume coupled with the large number of members