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Algeria: Western Price Caps On Russian Crude Could Lead To Supply Disruption

Algerian Energy Minister Mohamed Arkab also warned that Western price caps on Russian crude oil could lead to uncertainty and supply disruption. 

While Arkab suggested that the OPEC+ decision to cut output by 2 million barrels per day from November 2022 until the end of this year brought stability to oil markets, he warned that unilateral measures such as price caps were distortions that could upset OPEC+ efforts to balance oil markets, Reuters reported.

Arkab’s comments followed comments to Energy Intelligence by Saudi Arabia’s energy minister, Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, that OPEC+ plans to maintain its output cut agreement as intended through the end of this year.  The International Energy Agency’s (IEA) latest monthly oil market report shows Russia’s estimated oil export revenues in February fell by $2.7 billion to $11.6 billion from January, suggesting that sanctions and price caps are starting to take effect.  

The energy minister of OPEC-member Algeria has stated that he is “extremely attentive” to the impact on oil markets of bank failures in the U.S. and Europe, Reuters reported.

Bank failures on two continents have led oil prices to plunge nearly 7% as of 12:28 p.m. EST on Wednesday, with financial markets on full alert over fears the contagion could spread to broader markets.  WTI was down 6.7% at the time of writing, while Brent crude was down 6.52%. 

The sharp losses for oil are extending following a sell-off of Credit Suisse, which has lost nearly 25% of share value on Wednesday. The share price plunge was sparked after Saudi National Bank, Credit Suisse’s largest backer, said it would not lend any more to the bank due to regulatory constraints. The lender’s note followed Credit Suisse’s annual report, which noted “material weaknesses” in financial reporting controls and customer outflows. 

Earlier in the week, two regional bank failures, Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) and Signature Bank sent oil prices lower and prompted fears of contagion. 

By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com

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