News / Economy

Price of Oil Hits $100 a Barrel

South Sudan army soldiers hold their weapons as they ride on a truck in Bor, Dec. 25, 2013.
South Sudan army soldiers hold their weapons as they ride on a truck in Bor, Dec. 25, 2013.

Multimedia

Audio
Joe DeCapua
The price for a barrel of oil rose above $100 Friday amid concerns over instability in Libya and South Sudan, plus a growing U.S. demand for fuel.

Fighting in South Sudan and erratic oil production in Libya are having a ripple effect on the global oil market.


John Kingston, director of news for Platts, a leading energy information company, said, “The big, broad, fundamental picture does look like there’s more oil on the world [market] than is necessary. But you continue to have several hotspots that are keeping the market tight and keeping the market a little bit on edge. Libyan output’s been fluctuating. Sometimes it gets almost up to 500,000 barrels a day. Sometimes it’s closer to 100,000 barrels a day. But this is a country that should be producing about 1.5 -1.6-million barrels a day. Now you’ve got South Sudan, which is a relatively small producer, but again it could be a cutback in a market that does have a lot of these geo-political concerns.”

Some of the fighting in South Sudan is in Unity State, which produces about 45,000 to 50,000 barrels a day. That’s out of a total output for South Sudan of 250,000 barrels a day. Kingston said that’s a relatively small output compared to other oil producing nations. Nevertheless, he said the combination of problems in the two countries has affected the market.

“You’ve also got other things,” he said, “You’ve got rising interest rates, which tend to be a booster of commodities. U.S. demand is starting to show real signs of strength. It’s up about a million barrels a day – year on year – and the estimates now are that fourth quarter growth in GDP might be three to four percent, which is pretty strong. So, you throw all these together in this plunging market that everyone was talking about a few weeks ago, a month ago, it’s got too many things that are preventing it from plunging.”

Kingston said that the oil market is not like the stock market, which can fluctuate wildly upon hearing rumors.

“Any kind of commodity market – the net gain at the end of the day is zero. For every dollar made there’s a dollar lost. So that’s not the case in Wall Street. So, that’s why I always push back very hard in any kind of analogy to Wall Street. But certainly it’s not so much that there are rumors, there are real outages of supply. And even though if you sat down and did the percentages it would look really, really small, the fact is markets are not set by percentages they’re set on the margin. What is the competition for that last barrel of oil?”

Kingston said that Platts will not predict how long the price of a barrel of oil may hover around the $100 level.

You May Like

Obama: Alaskans Feel Signs of Climate Change

They're seeing bigger storm surges as sea ice melts, more wildfires, erosion of glaciers, shorelines More

Katrina Brought Enduring Changes to New Orleans

The city’s recovery is the result of the people and culture the city is famous for, as well as newcomers and start-up industries More

Magical Photo Slides Show Native Americans in Late 1800s

Walter McClintock spent 20 years photographing the Blackfoot Indians and their vanishing culture at the dawn of the modern age More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.8874
JPY
USD
120.83
GBP
USD
0.6497
CAD
USD
1.3271
INR
USD
66.162

Rates may not be current.