Oil prices fell below the symbolic threshold of $ 50. The Russian economy collapses, Iran chokes, Algeria, for its part, has been forced to adopt an austerity policy. How did it happen? Explanations.
The price of oil has fallen alarmingly in recent months. What are the causes of this decline unprecedented six years? The armed groups that control many oil wells are they caused this precipitous drop?
There are nearly two years, terrorist groups indeed affiliated with the Islamic state and Al Qaeda, Libya, Syria and Iraq, have managed to control oil wells. This situation allowed the terrorists to sell on the black market of large quantities of oil in favor of unknown buyers. Over time, the terrorists were able to enrich themselves, allowing them to purchase weapons and to recruit new jihadists.
This has, in turn, led to a catastrophe in world oil prices. The price of oil dropped to $ 45. The course of the two reference barrels, Brent and WTI London to New York, took on the symbolic threshold of $ 50. Yesterday in Asian trade, WTI still lost $ 1.16 from the day before (45.77 dollars).
Meanwhile, Brent yielded 82 cents to (59.19 dollars). Oil had not reached these levels since 2009. That year, WTI was worth about $ 35 a barrel and Brent was trading at $ 45. In 2014, the fall in oil prices has been dizzying and especially fast. Since mid-June, it reached almost 50%.
Policy issues as they affect the price of oil?
Undeniably, analysts said. "Over the past three years, we had a stable oil price ($ 100), at a time when the economy yet worked less quickly. Prices should have fallen but they were maintained this balance by political considerations, "explains Jean-François Lambert. Today, several hypotheses of this kind are discussed.
First, that the alliance between Saudi Arabia and the United States to weaken Russia, punished for his policy in Ukraine. "It is a logic of economic demolition," says Dorian Abadie, an analyst at XTB France. Another hypothesis, Saudi Arabia would play alone in order to weaken shale competing producers and above show that it is a major political player in the region.
"By letting go oil prices, it cuts the legs to aspiring producers to standardization, such as Iran. She reminds everyone that his voice counts, "explains Jean-François Lambert. "And to put the center of the geopolitical game, the Saudis use the only weapon they have: oil.
Even do damage to the neighbors. This is an economic war, "says the specialist.
Saudi Arabia certainly takes the risk of losing several hundred billion dollars in revenue, but its large foreign exchange reserves allow it to absorb the impact. Despite the concern of Gulf stock markets, politics of Saudi Arabia is followed by the countries of the Arabian Peninsula.
At a conference in Dubai Sunday, the oil minister of the UAE, Al-Suhail Mazouri said that OPEC could support the price of oil reaches $ 40. "The UAE has strengthened speculation" in oil markets, said Christopher Dembik, an analyst at Saxo Bank.