Earlier, Reuters reported that US antitrust regulators have extended the approval process for at least five oil and gas mergers and acquisitions over the past three months, as the Biden administration scrutinizes deals to counter soaring energy prices.
The World Bank announced, on Thursday, that the significant rise in global oil prices may threaten global growth, and is unlikely to abate before 2023.
Crude prices are expected to reach $70 a barrel at the end of the year, 70 percent higher than in 2020, according to the Bank’s Commodity Market Outlook report.
This in turn causes the prices of other energy commodities such as natural gas to rise, according to the report.
“Rising energy prices pose significant risks to global inflation in the near term, and if it continues, it could affect growth in energy importing countries,” said Ayhan Kose, chief economist at the World Bank.
The rises were “more visible than expected” and “may complicate policy choices at a time when countries are recovering from the global recession last year.”
Oil prices have risen in recent weeks to more than $80 a barrel, hitting their highest levels in years, as economies reopen in the wake of pandemic lockdowns and shipping bottlenecks.
The World Bank uses the average prices of Brent, West Texas Intermediate and Dubai, which it said will remain “at high levels in 2022, but will begin to decline in the second half of the year as supply constraints ease.”
Average prices are expected to rise in 2022 to reach $74 before declining to $65 in 2023, according to the World Bank.
However, the report warns of “the possibility of additional price hikes in the near term amid a severe inventory drawdown and ongoing supply bottlenecks.”