Crude Oil Prices to Decline to $68 a Barrel in 2019

22 June, 2018, 16:16 | Author: Teresa Adams
  • WTI Crude Oil

Meanwhile, Nigeria's Bonny Light crude oil has maintain an worldwide price of $73.44 per barrel, higher than the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) basket price of $73.35 per barrel. On the other side, less privileged OPEC members like Iran, Venezuela, Iraq, Angola, Libya and Nigeria whose production levels have been under pressure by different geopolitical and economic factors like US sanctions and budget deficit need the prices to stay at current levels.

"Oil is down in a knee-jerk reaction to possibilities of a trade war intensifying between the USA and China, and OPEC's production increase breaking the demand and supply balance", Takayuki Nogami, chief economist at state-backed Japan Oil, Gas & Metals National Corp., said by phone from Tokyo.

Russian Federation has also said that limiting production for too long could encourage too much production growth from the United States which is not part of the agreement to curb output. A few other factors could help keep a lid on oil prices over the next year or so.

"There will be an OPEC conference in Vienna on 22 June.Whenever we have met OPEC members, we have told them that crude oil prices should be controlled, reasonable, responsible and should meet demand". That crimped the country's ability to export crude, limiting supply and pushing up global prices.

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However, the strong dollar seems to have disturbed the assumption as the likely lower demand on account of higher interest rates would mean that oil producing countries would now be struggling to sell their goods in a tighter market. The final decision needs to be unanimous for OPEC, however, and many analysts expect the meeting to be a disaster.

For technical reasons, any decision to ramp up output also has to be timed not to coincide with Russia's harsh winter, meaning the next OPEC meeting in November would come too late.

OPEC and several non-OPEC oil producers reached a deal in Vienna in 2016, agreeing to cut oil output by a total of 1.8 million barrels per day in an effort to stabilize global oil prices. US President Donald Trump last week pushed ahead with tariffs on billion of Chinese imports, starting on July 6. China's trade restrictions could leave the growing volumes of US crude from shale without a buyer, traders said. "What if we have another hurricane", he said, referring to Hurricane Harvey, which took out refinery capacity in Houston and sent gasoline prices soaring for a while last fall.

For one, the confrontationist attitude shown by the U.S. government has rattled world currency markets.

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"Opec is fractured or fracturing", McKenna said, as Iran, Venezuela, and Iraq "seek to veto the production increase".

This suggests that there has been a rebalancing after years of an overwhelming oversupply of the commodity; equally, it could also point to underlying concerns that have been evident for some time, that some members no longer wish to comply with OPEC's production cut deal.

Iraq and Iran have said they would oppose output increases on the grounds that such moves would breach previous agreements to maintain cuts until the year-end. Brent crude jumped $1.55 to $74.99 a barrel. "In this connection, OPEC countries will benefit from lowering prices and cooling the surge of the United States activity", Alexei Belogoriev said.

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