Oil: relative price stability but geopolitical risks remain a threat

Around 4:55 p.m. GMT (5:55 p.m. in Paris), the barrel of Brent of the North Sea for delivery in March yielded 1.43% to 85.42 dollars.

Its American equivalent, the barrel of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for same month delivery, was down 1.48% to $78.50.

Immobile prices

If prices remained almost immobile on Monday, several market players were worried about the possible consequences after a drone attack against a military site in Isfahan, a large city in central Iran, in a context of tensions linked to the nuclear file.

The risk of escalating the conflict could lead to disruptions in the Strait of Hormuz, through which 20 million barrels per day pass“, warn analysts at Goldman Sachs. “With no visible escalation, however, prices should remain calm“, they add.

Another geopolitical risk that could push prices up, the embargo of the European Union and the price cap by the rich countries of the G7 on Russian petroleum products will come into force on Sunday.

So far, Russian exports have held up.”notes Mark Haefele, an analyst at UBS, but “we believe that it will become increasingly difficult for Russia to compensate for the loss of European customers“.

Russian production should therefore, according to UBS, decrease to less than 9 million barrels per day in 2023, against more than 10 million at the start of 2022 and 9.77 million in December.

Long-lasting war on the energy market

The war waged by Russia in Ukraine should have a long-lasting effect on the energy market, between reduced supply and leaded growth.

For its part, the British energy giant BP has reduced its energy consumption forecasts by 2.3% in 2035 in the world compared to those published last year.

Global oil demand could reach 93 million barrels per day in 2035, 5% less than BP forecast in 2022.

On the gas side, the Dutch TTF futures contract, the benchmark for the European market, rose 2.30% to 56.70 euros per megawatt hour (MWh).

Gas consumption has rebounded“, the temperatures having cooled in Europe after a mild start to winter, comments Mark Cus Babic, analyst at Barclays.