News / Middle East

Oil Prices Rise as Concerns Grow Over Japan Disaster, Mideast Unrest

Burning oil tanks in Libya
Burning oil tanks in Libya

Multimedia

Crude oil prices are climbing as energy experts worry about the impact of the fighting between rebel and government forces, and the newly-imposed international no-fly zone, on Libya's oil production.  Adding to the price volatility is continuing unrest in Bahrain, Syria and Yemen - along with speculation of increasing global demand.  

In the Libyan oil port of Zwitina, northeast of Benghazi, burning fuel tanks underscore the damage to Libya's oil production - down from about 1.6 million barrels per day to less than 400,000.

Shukri Ghanam, chairman of Libya's National Oil Corporation, says the country is desperate to get oil flowing again.

"We will be even looking at giving direct contracts and direct blocks to companies from any country that is kind of willing and ready to come and work in the country," said Ghanam.

The disruption has resulted in sharply higher oil prices and renewed concerns that the unrest could spread to other oil producing countries in the Middle East.

The earthquake and tsunami damage in Japan has only fueled more concern.

In the country's northeast, the Fukushima nuclear crisis appears to be stabilizing,  but analysts say Japan is likely to increase oil and gas imports to make up for the loss of power from the damaged nuclear facilities.

Oliver Roth is a market strategist at Close Seydler Bank:

"The intervention in Libya right now doesn't play a big role in the focus of the financial markets," said Roth. "We are much more focused on the oil price and on Fukushima."

As a result oil prices remain extremely volatile.  

Jan Randolph at IHS Global Insight expects prices to trend higher.

"Demand is rising relative to supply and stretching supply," said Randolph. "That's why oil prices have moved up over the last few years, but the spiking is on top of this.  And it adds what we call a counter-risk premium which is anything between 10 and 20 dollars on the oil price and that is very much related to the day-to-day events."

For many in Japan, day to day has been anything but normal.

"There are still concerns over the shortage of gasoline supplies," said a Japanese. "We are rationed 20 liters a person per day and sometimes have to wait four of five hours to get fuel.  I am worried how that will be solved in the future."

Experts say oil prices are likely to hit $120 a barrel in coming months.
Economists say that will lead to higher prices for food and gasoline - adding downward pressure to an already weak global recovery.

You May Like

EU Court Fines Poland for Hosting CIA 'Black Sites'

Ruling is first time a court has acknowledged suspects were held and tortured at the sites, under US program launched following the 9/11 terrorist attacks More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

Video At AIDS Conference, Prevention Pill Stirs Excitement

Truveda shows promise, spurring debate over access and other approaches More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debatei
X
Shelley Schlender
July 24, 2014 6:43 PM
In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Death Toll From Israel-Gaza Conflict Surpasses 700

Gaza officials say a shelling hit a compound housing a United Nations-run school in the Gaza Strip, killing more than a dozen people, during an Israeli offensive in the area. Heavy fighting between the Israeli military and Hamas militants continued on Thursday, pushing up the death toll. So far, more than 730 Palestinians and 35 Israelis have been killed in the conflict. VOA's Scott Bobb has the latest from Jerusalem.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Researchers Target Low-Cost Avatar Technology

Scientists at the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies say 3-dimensional representations could revolutionize social media. Elizabeth Lee has more from Los Angeles.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid