Record oil prices nearing the highs of 2008


How is the price of fuel affected by the increasing cost of raw materials and the war in Ukraine? Will prices at the pumps continue to rise, or is that phase now over? And what is the relative importance of "green" fuel? These are some of the many questions that continue to occupy the oil sector, with huge rises in recent months impacting the entire supply chain, and so also hitting the pockets of ordinary people.
Even just a few days after the start of hostilities in Ukraine, the price of oil was reaching unexpected highs. When countries went into lockdown two years ago after the start of the pandemic, fuel prices fell to new lows due to a sudden slowdown in demand. But now the reverse is true, and prices have reached their highest levels since the time of the global economic crisis of 2008. This is the case for both main types of crude oil: Brent and WTI. Brent crude is chiefly extracted from the North Sea, while WTI comes from Texas in the southern United States (hence the name "West Texas Intermediate"). Both types are mainly traded on the NYMEX commodity futures exchange in New York.
At the beginning of March this year, prices were close to the highs of July 2008, when Brent Crude rose to $147.50 a barrel, and WTI reached $147.21. Indeed, as recently as 8 March, Brent Crude was trading at $127.98 a barrel and WTI at $123.70. A natural response to these figures is to try and work out the reasons behind them. Price fluctuations are clearly related to global instability and geopolitical tensions, but an additional factor for this vital commodity is the availability of supply. The market figures show demand rising again after the worst phase of the pandemic, but production, as regulated by OPEC, has failed to keep pace. Price rises are also related to more general problems in sourcing and transporting raw materials around the world, with shortages of supply for many commodities and increases across the board.
This scenario has also led to soaring prices at the pumps, and the governments of certain countries, such as Italy, have introduced emergency measures to control these rising costs.
All these matters are high on the agenda for both professionals and the public, and will soon be under discussion at Uniti Expo in Stuttgart, the global trade fair for the petrol retail and car washing sectors. This biennial event will be open again under safe conditions from Tuesday 17 to Thursday 19 May, following the cancellation of the 2020 edition due to the Covid emergency. The exhibition covers an area of 40,000 square metres, and also includes a wide range of seminars and conferences. Emiliana Serbatoi (stand 3E36, pavilion 3) will be taking part in the fair for the first time, showcasing its range of tanks and storage systems for the oil industry. The company will also present its new line of tanks for Biodiesel: the "green" fuel with greater respect for the environment.
This magazine is not a newspaper as it is updated without respecting the principles of periodicity. It cannot therefore be considered an editorial product pursuant to laws 47/1948 and 62/2001 and subsequent updates