Oil prices fall more than 10%

The fall is at the height of the recent surge in black gold prices. The barrel of Brent lost almost 12% on Wednesday evening, settling at 112 dollars, after having touched 105 dollars a little earlier. On Monday, it had come close to 140 dollars, driven by fears of a global embargo on Russian oil. And despite the decision of the United States, announced Tuesday by President Joe Biden, to cease all imports of hydrocarbons from Russia, prices have gone down.

This movement is partly explained by the hopes of a diplomatic exit from the conflict. On Wednesday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky reaffirmed to the German newspaper Bild that he was ready to compromise to end the war. And the spokeswoman for Russian diplomacy, Maria Zakharova, believed to see progress in the negotiations with Ukraine. A beginning of an agreement could perhaps ease the economic sanctions on Russia.

But this dramatic decline was first triggered by a statement to the Financial Times from the United Arab Emirates ambassador in Washington. “We support increased production and will encourage OPEC to consider higher production levels,” Yousef al-Otaiba said.

Compensate the embargo

An approach that goes in the direction of repeated requests from Joe Biden for the major producing countries to open the floodgates wider in order to lower the prices of black gold. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken also welcomed this decision, saying that higher production “was an important step in stabilizing world energy markets”, and that it was vital “to ensure that there remains an abundant supply of energy in the world. »

The members of OPEC are in fact the best placed to make up for the shortages caused by the bans on the import of Russian oil, or the boycott of the big oil companies like Shell or BP which seek to get out of their supply contract in Russia. .

3 million potential barrels per day

According to Robert Yawger, head of energy futures at Mizuho Securities quoted by AFP, the United Arab Emirates could pump 800,000 barrels more per day. Saudi Arabia, which also has unused stocks, could contribute an additional two million barrels per day.

However, it is not certain that the Emirati proposal will arouse enthusiasm within OPEC. Already, Iraqi Oil Minister Ihsan Abdul Jabbar Ismaael told an oil conference in Houston that the country has not seen additional demand from oil consumers. He therefore sees no urgency to further increase the production of black gold, even believing that additional increases could harm the market.

If the Emirates have long walked hand in hand with Saudi Arabia within OPEC, they have already shown deep disagreements. And above all, the decision to gradually increase the supply of oil was taken at the level of OPEC +, that is to say with the allies of the cartel, led by Russia.

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