Fri. Sep 22nd, 2023
    Oil Prices Surge as Azerbaijan Launches Operations in Nagorno-Karabakh Region

    Oil prices have continued to rise, with Brent crude hitting $95 per barrel, following Azerbaijan’s announcement that it has initiated “anti-terrorist” operations in the Nagorno-Karabakh region. The region, inhabited mostly by ethnic Armenians, is internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan, although it is known as Artsakh by Armenians.

    Tensions between Azerbaijan and Armenia have escalated in recent months, with Azerbaijan imposing a blockade on Nagorno-Karabakh. Last week marked the first time in three months that aid was delivered to the region via Azerbaijan’s Aghdam route. However, Azerbaijan still blocks the Lachin corridor, which links Nagorno-Karabakh to Armenia.

    Azerbaijan’s defense ministry has stated that “local anti-terrorist activities have been launched” in order to disarm and secure the withdrawal of Armenian armed forces from their territories. The ministry also claimed that two civilians were killed when Armenia’s armed forces targeted a vehicle with a land mine. Conversely, Armenia has accused Azerbaijan of spreading false information regarding the presence of Armenian military personnel in Nagorno-Karabakh.

    Although tensions remain high in the region, both countries have stated that the situation on their borders is relatively stable. Azerbaijan is a major player in the global oil and gas industry and is part of the OPEC+ alliance of producers. This alliance, which includes both OPEC and non-OPEC participants, currently restricts oil supply to the market.

    In addition to geopolitical factors, oil prices continue to climb due to other market dynamics. As of Tuesday morning ET, Brent crude surpassed $95 per barrel, while WTI crude saw a 1.3% increase, reaching $92.50. Market analyst Craig Erlam noted the impressive rally in oil prices, stating that there could be further increases in the near future.