Geopolitics has taken over the oil market, driving oil prices up to three-year highs. The inventory surplus has vanished, and more outages could push oil prices up even higher. Yet, there are some signs that demand is starting to take a hit as oil closes in on $80 per barrel.
Oil prices rose for the fourth straight day on Monday to hit levels not seen since late 2014, boosted by the latest trouble for Venezuelan oil company PDVSA and the possibility that the United States could re-impose sanctions on Iran.
An international arbitration court has ordered Venezuela’s oil company PDVSA to pay ConocoPhillips US$ 2.04 billion for early dissolution of two joint ventures for producing oil in the OPEC-member country, the U.S. firm said.
Norway's Statoil has decided to quit its Alaskan exploration efforts in the Chukchi Sea, following a recent move by Shell to drop its search for oil in the US Arctic after a key drilling target came back dry.
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez advised Repsol to seek a friendly agreement in its dispute with Argentina and noted that the Spanish energy company held important assets in his country.
At least four leading US oil corporations are interested in investing in Argentina’s nationalized YPF but are demanding a law that guarantees investments, direct export of oil and remittance of benefits.