Now it’s time for On Point, where we speak to experts to delve deeper into the biggest news stories in the spotlight right now.
In recent weeks, crude oil prices have soared past 80 U.S. dollars a barrel as demand far outpaces supply.
A couple of weeks ago, OPEC and its oil-producing allies, known as OPEC-plus, put a hold to their current output levels, saying they were not going to loosen the taps despite the skyrocketing prices and pressure from the U.S. for them to cool the market.
For more, we connect to Philip Vahn, Senior Managing Analyst for Asia Oil Market Insight and S&P Global Platts, to discuss the recent price surge in oil and how it impacts consumers.
Thanks for coming on, Philip.
Firstly - what can the U.S. or anyone else outside of OPEC do to bring oil prices down? And can you explain why OPEC is flatly dismissing the Biden administration’s calls for them to fire up output?
There’s a lot of fingerprinting going on, but OPEC doesn’t appear willing to give an inch. What financial and diplomatic tools does the U.S. have in its arsenal should Washington decide ‘enough is enough’… and it’s time to force OPEC’s hand?
Many nations have agreed to make the transition to greener energy, but during that process, there also has to be adequate supplies of energy in the world we live in now. How long do you think this power crunch will last? Are we talking multiple weeks,… multiple months… or even longer?
Finally, South Korea has another problem, namely a shortage of urea water solution, a chemical needed to power diesel vehicles. China is the country’s biggest supplier, but China is facing its own energy crisis so it has curbed exports. Does Seoul have time to find urea from other countries and was an oversight to rely so heavily on China in the first place?
Well, Philip, we appreciate your insights. Hopefully there will be some light at the end of the tunnel soon. Thanks and we’ll hopefully speak again soon.