Geopolitical Tensions Propel WTI Prices Amidst Supply Disruptions and Regional Unrest


January 16, 2023

New Delhi, India

WTI Prices

In recent developments, the West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil price has surged to $72.70 per barrel, driven by a confluence of geopolitical events affecting the energy landscape.

Supply Disruptions in the Red Sea:

The Red Sea is experiencing supply disruptions due to attacks by Yemen’s Houthi movement, prompting maritime vessels to alter their routes. This shift is causing increased shipping costs and extended transit times for the transportation of crude oil.

Iran’s Involvement and Missile Strikes:

Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) launched missiles targeting northern Iraq near the US Consulate in Erbil. The stated purpose is to dismantle espionage centers and gatherings of anti-Iranian terrorist groups in the region. These actions coincide with broader concerns over Israel’s offensive in the Gaza Strip and escalating tensions in the Red Sea involving Iran-backed Houthi rebels.

Also Read: India Slashes Windfall Tax on Domestic Crude Oil to Boost Energy Sector

US Response and Warnings:

Responding to the escalating situation, the US-led Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) headquartered in Bahrain issued a warning advising ships to steer clear of the Bab al-Mandab Strait, a strategic maritime route.

Houthi Movement’s Expansion Plans:

Houthi rebels, supported by Iran, have announced plans to broaden their targets in the Red Sea region, explicitly mentioning US ships. This declaration comes in the aftermath of an anti-ship ballistic missile strike on a US-owned and operated container ship in Houthi-controlled areas in Yemen.

These events unfold despite recent military strikes by the United States (US) and the United Kingdom (UK) on Houthi sites in Yemen, indicating the determination of the Iran-allied group to persist in their actions.

Bottom Line:

In summary, the WTI crude oil market is witnessing volatility and price surges due to supply disruptions, geopolitical tensions in the Red Sea, and specific incidents involving Iran, the Houthi movement, and the US. The situation remains fluid, with potential implications for global energy markets.

Also Read: USD/INR: Geopolitical Tensions and Economic Indicators Shape Currency Movement

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