VIENNA, October 17, (Xinhua) -- Weekly average oil prices of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) rose to 112.61 dollars per barrel after a month of consecutive increases, the Vienna-based cartel said Monday.
Potential supply disruptions, especially possible western embargo on Iran's oil export, played in key role in pushing up the oil price, as market was jittery with the prospect of the closure of the Strait of Hormuz, which might result in global oil supply shorge.
Meanwhile, Western countries are said to have developed a contingency plan - a large number of emergency crude oil reserves are prepared to make up the oil supply gap.
U.S. House of Representatives Majority Leader Eric Cantor, who has recently finished his Middle East tour, also said Saudi Arabia had confirmed its ability to fill the gap and "meet all customer needs."
The eurozone debt crisis also come to the spotlight later last week, after rating agency Standard & Poor's cut credit ratings of nine eurozone countries, including France and Austria, last Friday. The move sparked concerns over the single currency bloc's economic decline and global economic stagnation, and reduced the demand expectations for crude oil thus posing pressure on oil prices.
Analysts are now expecting a possible drop in the euro's exchange rate against the U.S. dollar, and a withdraw of the investments in the crude oil market, the stock market as well as the other commodity markets.
Nonetheless, some still holds a optimistic outlook for the crude oil price. The Goldman Sachs estimated on Friday that the oil price outlook would remain bullish due to the favorable economic figures of the U.S. and China recently.