Oil Surges, Breaking Through $100 a Barrel

January 31st, 2011
in Background

The Financial Times:  Brent crude, the global benchmark, surged to an intraday high of $101.19 per barrel, the highest since October 2008.  Prices were driven strongly higher on fears that the unrest in Egypt could overflow and interupt the supply of oil from the middle east.

Follow up:

We are extremely concerned about the Middle East situation,” said Marco Dunand, chief executive of Geneva-based Mercuria, one of the world’s biggest oil traders. “This is going to increase volatility substantially.”

Lawrence Eagles, head of oil research at JPMorgan, said the primary risk from the turmoil was its “potential to act as a catalyst [for] unrest in countries that are otherwise seen as stable”, including Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest oil exporter, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates.

Fearing a contagion effect, Arab leaders have shown support for Mr Mubarak, hoping he can quell the fury on the streets. On Monday the embattled president named a retired police investigator to take over the interior ministry.

Samir Radwan, a respected development economist, was appointed new finance minister. Acknowledging that his tenure might be short-lived, he told the Financial Times: “Let us hope we can save the situation and bring stability to our country. We owe a lot to the people on the street, and will respond to their calls. That’s the only reason I accepted the job.”  Read more at the Financial Times.....

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