Even with short-term supply risks, such as the escalating violence in Iraq, traders using oil exchange traded products shouldn’t expect large swings as crude oil prices are at their most stable since the 70s.
According to Christof Rühl, BP’s group chief economist, the world has suffered from a cumulative 3 million barrels a day in supply disruptions since the start of the 2011 Arab uprising, but a jump in shale oil production in the U.S. has essentially “canceled out” the shortages, reports Guy Chazan for Financial Times.
“There has been an almost perfect match between outages in north Africa and elsewhere and US production growth,”Rühl said in the article, pointing to an “eerie quiet” in global oil markets.
Last year, the U.S. benefited from the world’s largest jump in oil production as new techniques like hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, and horizontal drilling drew oil from shale beds. U.S. oil produced exceeded 10 million barrels per day in 2013, its highest level since 1986.
Meanwhile, disruptions in the Middle East helped offset the jump in U.S. production. Specifically, unrest in Syria, Libya and more recently Iraq have weighed on international oil prices.
West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures were trading around $106.8 per barrel Monday while Brent crude oil futures were hovering around $112.7 per barrel.