(Nikkei) Oil prices remain stuck at low levels, unaffected by the waves of risk washing over the world amid mounting geopolitical tension. What is driving that trend, and how long will it last? The Nikkei Asian Review put these and other questions to Daniel Yergin, vice chairman of research company IHS and a world-renowned expert on oil prices.

Why are oil prices so low? There are two continuing puzzles about the price collapse. First, the 50% fall in prices has not been the global economic stimulus that might have been expected.

The second puzzle concerns geopolitics. The oil market is usually very sensitive to geopolitics. Geopolitical risk is high now: The Middle East is in crisis. Relations with Russia are tense and the standoff in Syria makes things even more dangerous. Meanwhile, tensions are rising in the South China Sea. Yet none of that has caused a spike in the oil price.

The reason is that none of these have yet directly threatened the flow of oil. To put it simply, while there is a surplus of geopolitical […]