Oil Prices: Haunted by Crises Past

Instability in Iraq, uncertainty in Venezuela and confusion over Russian government policy towards Yukos, the country’s biggest oil company, all played a part in rising oil prices. Concern was instant, with quick calls for policies to limit

The World Today
4 minute READ

Dr Paola Subacchi

Former Research Director, International Economics

Oil prices are back to haunt the world economy and to dent the recovery that is finally on the right track after some earlier disappointments. Over recent months they have climbed to levels that most economists had thought impossible just six months ago. Brent oil prices surged by about 18 percent between July and August, reaching $45.15 per barrel on August 20.

This was the highest level since the extremely low prices following military operations in Iraq in April last year. Indeed, between March and April last year Brent prices dropped from $30.3 per barrel to $24.9. The current level is about $5 a barrel higher than at the beginning of June when the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) raised its overall output quota – excluding Iraq – by 2 million barrels per day to 25.5 million from July.

Subscribe to read all issues

Articles from the current issue are free to read by all, the archive is exclusive to magazine subscribers and our members. Subscribe or become a member to view articles from the archive.