(EnergyAsia, May 26 2010, Thursday) — Oil prices are likely to be supported in the coming years as the scale and devastation of the oil spill from the ruptured BP well in the Gulf of Mexico become clear, said analysts.

Political pressure against offshore drilling is fast building up following the April 20 explosion on board the Deepwater Horizon oil rig that killed 11 workers and led to at least 5,000 b/d of oil leaking into the ocean.

While oil prices have plunged on continuing worries over Europe’s economic problems and rising US oil inventories, the destruction caused by the leaks will lead to slower and even reduced activity in offshore drilling and production.

In early May, crude oil futures for delivery in 2018 surged to above US$100 a barrel after US President Barack Obama indicated the government may consider a halt to future drilling.