Strong oil, gas, CO2 and coal prices push power Annuals to long-term highs

Thursday 19th April 2018

As with the news in the past fortnight, the energy markets have been dominated by events in Syria and the West’s deteriorating relationship with Russia. The prospect of a US led attack from the middle of last week sent oil to a three year high, and put similar upward pressure on power and gas Annuals. Russia is a key gas supplier to Western Europe (if not the UK per se), and any threat to this in the form of NATO squaring up to the old cold war adversary means prices could potentially spiral. Increased tensions in the Middle East also has obvious geographical implications for oil production too.

Early indications this week are that prices are edging back from peaks, that the strategic strike in Syria at the weekend was not as severe as it might have been had direct interaction with Russian forces have happened. Nevertheless, energy traders remain on high alert.

Away from Syria, other upward momentum came from the cost of coal and carbon – power prices are thus strong in Germany and France too.  The milder weather has given some relief in the short term markets, although a number of power station outrages countered this. Oil also gained from the effects of the year-long OPEC production cut, but the continued strength of Sterling versus the US Dollar (back to near pre-Brexit vote levels) has given some comfort on the cost of crude (priced in dollars).