In May 2010 when President Goodluck Jonathan was first sworn in substantively as President following the death of President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, the price of oil was floating between $70 and $80 per barrel but rose back to $90/barrel in December.
In 2011, political turmoil in Egypt, Libya, Yemen, and Bahrain drove oil prices to $95/barrel in late February. A few days prior, oil prices on the NYMEX closed at $86. Oil prices topped at $103 on February 24 where oil production is curtailed to the political upheaval in Libya.
On March 1, 2011, a significant drop in Libyan production and fears of more instability in other countries pushed the price of oil over $100 a barrel and weakened U.S. Dollar resulted in a spike to $112/barrel as of April 26.
On May 5, 2011 West Texas Intermediate crude fell below $100 a barrel, the lowest since March 16. This came after crude oil for June delivery reached $114.83 on May 2, the highest since September 2008, before closing at $97.18 on May 6, a day after dropping 9 percent, the most dramatic single-day drop in over two years. Gas prices fell slightly on May 6, and experts predicted $3.50 a gallon by summer.
In mid-June, West Texas Intermediate crude for July delivery fell nearly $2 to $93.01, the lowest price since February. London Brent crude fell 81 cents to $113.21. On June 15 U.S. oil prices fell below $90 before rising again, and Brent crude fell two percent. However, on June 29, West Texas intermediate crude had risen to $94.96, almost $5 above the lowest point reached after the previous week’s action. After another week, oil for August delivery had risen from $90.61 to $98.67 and gas prices were up five cents. Increased worldwide demand was one reason. Brent Crude remained high at $118.38 partly due to supply problems in Europe, including lower North Sea production and the continuing war in Libya.
On August 4, the price of oil dropped 6 percent to its lowest level in 6 months. On August 5, the price had dropped $8.82 in a week to $86.88 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. On August 8, oil fell over 6 percent, in its largest drop since May, to $81, its lowest price of the year. On September 24, oil reached $79.85, down 9 percent for the week, due to concerns about another recession and the overall world economy.
As of November 8, the price reached $96.80.
Shortages of oil could have resulted if Iran closed the Strait of Hormuz, through which one-fifth of exported oil travels, as a result of sanctions due to the country’s nuclear policies. The price of oil stayed near $100 throughout January because of concerns over supplies, and the European debt situation. By early February, oil prices were at $98, the lowest in six weeks, On February 20, benchmark March crude oil reached $105.21, the highest in nine months. Brent crude was up 11 percent for the year to $119.58 on February 17, West Texas Intermediate crude was up 19 percent to $103.24. On April 24, West Texas Intermediate was $103.55 a barrel, down from over $107 late in March, and Brent Crude $118.16 after peaking above $128 in March. Benchmark crude rose 5.8 percent to $82.18 on June 29, with Brent crude up 4.5 percent to $95.51. On July 17, Brent crude $104.
On August 17, Brent crude fell slightly to $113.71.
Early in September, Brent crude stood at $114.84. On September 12, Brent crude rose slightly to nearly $116. By the start of November, Brent crude went up to $111.04, and benchmark oil for January delivery to $87.92; benchmark oil reached $86.24 on November 28.
On December 13, Brent crude was down to $109.20,
On January 17, Brent crude rose above $110. On February 25, Brent crude was over $115. By mid-April, Brent crude fell to $103.04. On May 30, Brent crude fell slightly to $102.19. On June 12, Brent crude rose to $103.27. On June 20 Brent crude fell to $104.24.
On July 10, Brent crude had climbed 7 percent to $108.51. On July 5 Brent crude was at $108.07. Brent crude was $110.48 on August 19. On August 28 Brent crude reached $116.61, its highest point since February 19, due to concern about U.S. involvement in Syria. On September 11 due to lower supplies after dropping due to hopes for a peaceful Syria solution, Brent crude rose to $111.50.
The New York Mercantile Exchange price on September 27 was $102.87. On October 3 after the U.S. government shutdown, Brent crude was $109. On October 21, Brent crude was $109.64. On November 13, Brent crude reached $107.12, $13.24 higher than West Texas Intermediate. On November 25, Brent crude reached $110.41. On December 16, Brent crude reached $110.53. On December 27, oil closed about $100 for the first time since October.
On January 2, Brent crude was $107.78. On January 13 Brent crude was $105.98. On January 30, Brent crude fell to $107.25. Price of oil stayed above $100 for most of February, but lower prices were expected. On February 27, Brent crude reached $108.61. On March 24, Brent crude rose to $107.41. Later in the week, good economic news from the United States, lower oil supplies in Oklahoma and a force majeure by Shell Nigeria pushed prices slightly higher, to $108.29 for Brent. On April 7, Brent crude fell to $105.64 with news that Libya might open more terminals in May, but more Ukraine problems pushed the prices back up on April 8.
On April 24, Brent crude was $110.33, and on May 12, Brent crude moved over $108. Brent crude climbed over $110 by May 15.
Trouble in Iraq resulted in higher prices for oil and gas in June with Brent crude at $115.75. At the end of the month Brent crude fell below $113.
For the first time since May on July 15, Brent crude stayed just above $107. Low demand and plentiful supplies despite good economic news from China and the United States sent Brent crude below $107 on July 24. Two weeks later. On August 14, light sweet oil was $95.58, the lowest since January, while Brent crude reached $102.01, the lowest since June, after falling the most in one day since January.
On August 27 Brent crude fell below $103. On October 16, West Texas crude fell below $80 for the first time in more than two years, while Brent crude reached $82.60, the lowest since November 2010.
Demand for oil is down and there are many new sources. United States oil production was up 70 percent since 2008, and Iraq and Canada were producing more.