Those who are bullish on oil prices have finally been vindicated with solid proof: prices for the black gold have risen to heights not seen in two years. Even though there is a big question mark surrounding the continued upward momentum in prices, with forecasts predicting almost matching increases in supply and demand over the coming months, the recent rally has encouraged beleaguered producers.
Russia is amongst the global heavyweights, but its economy and stock markets are vulnerable to forces outside of its control, especially the price of oil but also politics in other parts of the world, such as the United States. The country’s fortunes will depend on how oil prices fare but also on how well relations with the new administration in Washington pan out.
Brent crude prices have seen a consistent decline from well over $100 per barrel in 2014 to less than $30 from the beginning of 2016. Based on oil prices that had been rising for more than a decade prior to 2015, energy companies made massive investments in drilling and exploration.
The decline in global oil prices between mid-2014 and February 2016 had a dramatic impact on many economies around the world. Prices slid below the average costs of production for many oil-producing nations, which in turn rendered their