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

UN Fears Rights Violations in China-backed Projects

UNHCHR investigates link between financing development and ignoring safeguards for human rights More

Boko Haram Violence Tests Nigerians’ Faith in Buhari

New president has promised to stem insurgency; he’s scheduled to meet with President Obama at White House July 20 More

Social Media Network Wants Privacy in User’s Hands

Encryption's popularity in messaging is exploding; now it's the foundation of a new social network 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.
Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugeesi
X
Carolyn Weaver
July 06, 2015 6:47 PM
In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugees

In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Rice Farmers Frustrated As Drought Grips Thailand

A severe drought in Thailand is limiting the growing season of the country’s important rice crop. Farmers are blaming the government for not doing more to protect a key export. Steve Sandford reports from Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Video

Video 'From This Day Forward' Reveals Difficult Journey of Transgender Parent

In her documentary, "From This Day Forward", filmmaker Sharon Shattuck reveals the personal journey of her transgender father, as he told his family that he always felt he was a woman inside and decided to live as one. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Floodwaters Threaten Iconic American Home

The Farnsworth House in the Midwest State of Illinois is one of the most iconic homes in America. Thousands of tourists visit the site every year. Its location near a river inspired the design of the house, but, as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, that very location is now threatening the existence of this National Historic Landmark.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.

VOA Blogs