Bloomberg February 5, 2015
The outlook on oil prices is clear: Oil will crash. Unless prices surge. Definitely one or the other.
Crude just had the biggest two-week gain in 17 years, but it’s still about 50 percent cheaper than it was in June. The situation is volatile, and forecasts are all over the place — from as low as $20 a barrel forecast by Citigroup to as high as $200 a barrel seen by the head of OPEC.
So what’s going to happen next? Here’s a sampling of predictions from the last two weeks:
- Oil will probably continue to decline to as low as $30 a barrel, said Gary Cohn, president of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. “We’re probably in the lower, longer view,” said Cohn, a former oil trader.
- Oil has the potential to reach $200 per barrel from a lack of investment in new supply, warned OPEC’s Secretary General Abdell El-Badri. “If you don’t invest in oil and gas, you will see more than $200,” he said, without giving a time frame.
- Shale oil will soon be needed to make up for production declines around the world, pushing U.S. prices to as high as $65 a barrel, the head of Astenbeck Capital Management wrote in a Feb. 2 letter obtained by Bloomberg News.
- In a Bloomberg News survey of analysts and traders, 12 of 32 respondents predicted futures will decline through Feb. 13, while 10 forecast an increase.
- “We don’t think we’ve seen the bottom yet,” said Giovanni Staunovo, a commodities analyst at UBS in Zurich.
- “We are establishing a bottom,” said Bill O’Grady, chief market strategist at Confluence Investment Management in St. Louis, which oversees $2.4 billion. “In the long run, probably $60 is going to be your pivot point.”
- Oil could fall as low as $30 because supply surpluses won’t disappear overnight, said Barclays analyst Miswin Mahesh.
- “The fundamental supply and demand does remind me of 1986 a bit, where we could go into a period in this decade of lower oil prices,” said BP CEO Bob Dudley. Prices may stay below $60 for as long as three years, he said. “It will be a long time before we see $100 again.”
- Oil could fall to the $30 a barrel range, said Fumiya Kokubu, CEO of Tokyo-based Marubeni Corp. He said he doesn’t see much of a price rebound in the next two or three years.
- The recent surge in oil prices is just a “head-fake,” and oil as cheap as $20 a barrel may soon be on the way, said Citigroup analyst Edward Morse. He sees a fourth-quarter rebound to about $75.