Oil prices were higher again this morning, buoyed by the looming imposition of sanctions on Iran.
Among market observers, the debate is no longer about whether prices will rise, but how high they are likely to go.
OPEC sees higher world demand
Some see a return to $100 a barrel, but others are urging caution. In the second camp is the investment bank Goldman Sachs, which said a second factor equal to the loss of Iranian supplies from the world market would be needed.
OPEC itself – the 15-nation Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries – has just published its September oil report. It forecast increased world oil demand across 2018, with “healthy growth” in the Americas.
Along with renewed US sanctions against Iran, due to take effect in November, the oil price is also being supported by concerted action by OPEC members along with oil producers from the so-called NOPEC countries, an informal grouping whose members are not members of OPEC but are generally sympathetic to its aims of stabilising the oil market.
Deal is a “permanent feature” of the energy scene
Among the NOPEC countries are Oman, Russia and Mexico.