Global Oil Prices Surge Amid Geopolitical Tensions

Global Oil Prices Surge Amid Geopolitical Tensions

Luka Petrović
3 min read

Geopolitical Tensions Drive Oil Prices Up Amidst Drone Strikes and Missile Attacks

This week, oil prices surged due to escalating geopolitical tensions in Russia and the Middle East. A drone strike in Ukraine disrupted operations at a small refinery, while a Houthi missile struck a China-bound oil tanker in the Red Sea. The year-to-date Brent futures have surged by approximately 9%, reaching almost $84 per barrel, while West Texas Intermediate remains below the $80 mark. Although prices have moderated since mid-April due to diminished long positions by hedge funds, the global benchmark remains approximately 9% higher this year due to OPEC+ supply cuts.

Key Takeaways

  • Geopolitical risks in Russia and the Middle East fuel the increase in oil prices
  • Ukrainian drone strike halts operations at a small Russian refinery
  • Houthi missile strikes China-bound oil tanker in the Red Sea
  • Brent futures approach $84 per barrel after the first weekly gain this month
  • West Texas Intermediate remains below $80 per barrel
  • Hedge funds and money managers reduce net long positions on Brent for the second consecutive week, signaling increased market bearishness.


The surge in oil prices is essentially driven by the escalating geopolitical tensions in Russia and the Middle East, manifested through the drone strike in Ukraine and the Houthi missile attack on an oil tanker in the Red Sea. This development has significantly impacted various entities, such as energy companies and nations reliant on oil imports, potentially leading to elevated energy costs for consumers and a surge in inflation. The decrease in long positions by hedge funds indicates a waning market confidence, potentially leading to a short-term price adjustment. Nonetheless, the long-term outlook remains optimistic due to OPEC+ supply cuts, supporting Brent oil prices near $84 per barrel and West Texas Intermediate below $80. Financial instruments linked to oil, such as futures and options, will also be affected.

Did You Know?

  • Geopolitical Risks in Russia and Middle East Drive Oil Prices Up: Geopolitical risks pose the potential adverse impact on the global economy and financial markets due to political unrest, conflicts, or tensions among nations. In this context, the ongoing geopolitical risks in Russia and the Middle East have caused disruptions in oil production and transportation, catalyzing the surge in oil prices. Russia, being a major oil producer, any instability in the region can influence global oil supply. Similarly, the Middle East, home to several major oil-producing countries, can significantly affect oil prices due to political tensions.
  • Brent Futures Near $84 per Barrel After the First Weekly Gain This Month: Brent futures denote a type of oil futures contract reflecting the price of Brent Crude oil, a pivotal benchmark for global oil prices. The price of Brent futures is shaped by supply and demand factors, geometric events, and economic indicators. Presently, Brent futures have soared to nearly $84 per barrel, having observed their first weekly gain this month. This signifies that the demand for oil outweighs the supply, leading to price escalation.
  • Hedge Funds Decrease Net Long Positions on Brent for the Second Week: Hedge funds represent investment pools that utilize diverse strategies to generate returns. One such strategy involves adopting long or short positions in commodities like oil. A long position implies a belief that the commodity's price will soar, while a short position indicates an expectation for a price decline. The term "net long positions" embodies the total number of long positions held by a hedge fund minus the total short positions. In the current scenario, hedge funds have diminished their net long positions on Brent for the second week, signaling their diminishing bullishness towards oil prices. This could be attributed to concerns of oversupply or weakening demand, thereby exerting downward pressure on oil prices.

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