The irresistible rise in energy prices

The world is once again thirsty for oil, gas, electricity and coal to power factories, thermal power stations and transportation. The economic recovery is firmly established in Europe, Asia and North America, and strong energy demand has been pushing prices up for months.

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Starting with those of oil, which allows companies in the sector to return to exceptional results. The state-owned Saudi Aramco thus announced, Sunday, August 8, a profit of 25.5 billion dollars (21.7 billion euros) in the second quarter, four times more than a year earlier.

  • Oil: expensive and volatile

Black gold is setting the trend: its rise partly explains that of gas, which in turn weighs on the cost of producing electricity. Despite some fluctuations, the barrel of Brent rose more than 55% in one year, going from 45 dollars to 75 dollars, and did not go below until Monday, August 9 (69 dollars). This trend is fueling inflation and “Has a very strong impact on our imports in terms of value”, according to the Minister for Foreign Trade, Franck Riester. France’s trade deficit widened to € 34.8 billion in the first half of the year.

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The balance between supply and demand is strained and the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, joined within OPEC + by ten other nations led by Russia, steers production to keep prices high without compromising production. reprise. Extractions in the United States are about 15% lower than in early 2020, when 13 million barrels per day, and the rise in prices has not led to a resumption of shale oil drilling campaigns (shale oil).

This increase in crude oil and refining margins is combined with a high level of taxes (60% of a liter of fuel) and weighs on household budgets. According to the latest figures from the Ministry of Ecological Transition, the average price of super 95 reached 1.56 euros and that of diesel 1.44 euros for the week ended on 1er August, an increase of around 15% over one year.

  • Gas: Russia, demand and stocks

Demand is also very strong, especially from energy-intensive industries and Asian countries. The markets are racing, also driven by crude prices. The spot price of gas in Asia (China, Japan and South Korea) has increased six-fold, from 2.2 to over 13 dollars per British Thermal Unit (BTU) in one year. As for Europe, less dependent on Qatari, American or Australian liquefied natural gas (LNG), it has not experienced such high prices since 2008.

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