“It remains to be seen how long the oil prices stay this high. I think they key here is whether or not the situation spreads into Iraq because if you’re threatening production there, then that opens the door for more African production to come on the market,” Platts Oil’s futures editor Geoff King, told CNBC Africa on Thursday.
“At the moment, the big winners are anyone that’s producing oil because the oil price has gone up and that’s a benefit to the oil producers.”
The current civil war in Syria could push the price of Brent Crude oil to 125 dollars per barrel and some have suggested that 150 dollars per barrel is possible if the volatility spills over into Iraq.
According to the BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2013, global oil consumption grew by 890,000 barrels per day, below the historical average.
For a second consecutive year, output reached record levels in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar. Iraq and Kuwait also registered significant increases.
While global consumption growth was below average for all fossil fuels and nuclear power, regional growth was below average everywhere except in Africa.
“We’re already seeing an opportunity out there for the African producers given that Libyan production has been severely curtailed by strikes there. I also think African producers have been looking at other markets in recent times – oil that traditionally went into the US market is being sent to Asia and into Europe,” said King.
“If there’s another supply shortage as a result of this Syrian situation, Iraq has a strong market in Asia so perhaps that’s where Africans would be looking.”