For many, the euphoria surrounding last week’s bumper Easter break was capped off by the news of Osama Bin Laden’s death. The Al-Queda figurehead was the self-proclaimed mastermind behind the 9/11 attacks and the announcement that he had been shot and killed in Pakistan was well received to say the least by the global community.
Of course the initial delight that many people felt was accompanied by a stark reminder that terrorist organisations harbouring extremist ideals are still very real, and could even be further motivated by the death of the man considered responsible for the world trade centre attacks almost ten years ago. The lingering threat is one of the reasons that images of the corpse America’s most wanted man were not released; doing so could fuel a retaliation from terrorist groups.
So, while Britain and the rest of the world remain diligent and aware about this clear and present danger, we go about our daily lives. But how has this affected us, if at all? One outcome pertinent to us motorists is the drop in oil prices. Crude oil dropped seventeen percent since the al-Qaeda was killed, this was the biggest drop since April 2009 and meant that oil plunged to $99.80 per barrel.
This drop is in stark contrast to the oil climate earlier in the year, with price rises motivated by mass instability in the Middle East. The supply line from Libya, a country with an output of 1 .3 million barrels a day, was particularly disrupted, increasing demand and driving up prices.
For now at least, it seems that prices have stabilised but this hugely significant event could still influence prices either way. The general perception is that, post-Bin Laden, the world is a safer place which has a particularly drastic effect on a commodity influenced by risk factors in the Middle East. In another sense, it could be said that this risk premium is driven up due to the likelihood of an Al-Qaeda reaction.
Hopes of a sharp drop in UK petrol prices then are somewhat in vein, but the Bin Laden factor could still yield long term benefits for drivers who are already payinh a premium for motoring you consider the cost invovled with running a vehicle and all the car gadgets that go with it. A safer, more stable middle east means that prices at the pump should see a steady reduction over time. We can only hope for continued peace and resultant reduced petrol prices would be a welcome bonus!