With 2011 proving to be a particularly turbulent year for worldwide energy prices, heads are now turning to what to expect in 2012.
With civil unrest in the Middle East unlikely to ease, mixed with increased export capabilities, wholesale prices are expected to fluctuate heavily. European leaders look likely to impose an oil embargo on Iran, with Tehran warning of rising tensions and likely retaliation.
The ongoing recessionary influences such as fundamental cuts in government spending are patently beginning to bother the speculative scavengers – and by scavengers we are of course referring to those companies or organisations influencing wholesale energy prices. OPEC is intimating that it would be quite nice if everyone paid $10.00 more a barrel to make them feel more financially comfortable, unsuprisingly this was pounced on by the market with new highs.
The edging up of Oil prices seems to be the fillip required by the Energy Industry to get on board with both UK Wholesale Electricity and gas prices edging up. Although last year’s July high of over $150 a barrel descended below $40 in December, prices this first quarter of 2009 seem to have steadied above $50. Now that the initial reaction to ‘The Recession’ has settled somewhat, we are back now to the more traditional political and economic machinations against the new globally depressed context.
Whilst OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) has previously set aspirations for the $100 barrel, their latest monthly ‘Oil Market Report’ (March 09), suggests an ongoing acknowledgement of the change in the world markets, and are pursuing the balance between returns for their members against the needs of the Global Consumers in a recession.
It certainly looks that although the upward pressures are still pushing hard (don’t expect the Financial Markets to stop talking up prices this year), it’s not so easy if no one is going to buy. In the Mid market Business market some suppliers are seemingly reluctant to offer longer term fixed rate deals, perhaps anticipating rates going up this year.