Today 2:50 p.m.
The World Bank warns that even a small interruption in crude oil supplies due to the escalation of the conflict in the Middle East could remove between 500,000 and 2 million barrels per day from global markets.
If that happens, prices could rise to between US$93 and US$102 a barrel, the bank warned Monday in a report. The outlook could “quickly worsen” if the most recent conflict expands its scope, if a median disruption of 3 to 5 million barrels per day occurs, with which prices could reach US$121 per barrel.
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The largest potential disruption the bank foresees could remove 6 to 8 million barrels of oil per day, comparable in magnitude to the Arab oil embargo of 1973. In the worst case scenario, prices could reach US$157 a barrel.
So far, the war between Israel and Hamas has had minimal impact on the oil market, which “could reflect a greater capacity of the global economy to absorb impacts on oil prices,” according to the report. The energy crisis of the 1970s led many countries to strengthen their defenses against price volatility by reducing their dependence on oil, taking advantage of expanded energy resources, and establishing strategic oil reserves, among other measures.
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Under the bank’s baseline forecast, oil prices would average $90 a barrel in the current quarter, then fall next year to an average of $81 a barrel amid lagging global economic growth. Overall commodity prices are forecast to fall 4.1% next year before stabilizing in 2025.
Translated by Bárbara Briceño.