Crude Oil Price Forecast Slam Into the Top of a Triangle

WTI Crude Oil Technical Analysis

The West Texas Intermediate Crude Oil market rallied significantly during the trading session on Friday to reach the $110 level. The downtrend line, of course, comes into the picture and offers a lot of selling pressure. If we can break above the highs of the last couple of weeks, the market is likely to continue going higher, perhaps reaching the $120 level. Alternately, if we could see this market turn around and fall back to the 50 Day EMA.

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It will be interesting to see how this plays out but pay close attention to those highs that we are approaching because that will be key to telling you where we are going in the short term. Longer-term, it almost certainly looks as if oil will at least try to go higher.

Brent Crude Oil Technical Analysis

Brent markets also have slammed into the top of a triangle, showing signs of trying to break out as well. Ultimately, this is a market that I think given enough time will probably pull back into the triangle, but I believe that the 50 Day EMA should come into the picture for support, as well as the uptrend line of the triangle.

At this point, the market continues to show a lot of volatility, and I think that given enough time we will more than likely will find a “buy on the dip” type of situation. The market will continue to pay close attention to these trendlines and make a bigger move once we finally break out. At this point, it certainly looks as if the buyers have much more momentum than anything else.

Oil Price Forecast 2025 to 2050

The EIA predicts that by 2025 Brent crude oil’s nominal price will rise to $66/b. By 2030, world demand is seen driving Brent prices to $89/b. By 2040, prices are projected to be $132/b. By then, the cheap oil sources will have been exhausted, making it more expensive to extract oil. By 2050, oil prices could be $185/b.

WTI per barrel price is expected to rise to $64 per barrel by 2025, increasing to $86 by 2030, $128 by 2040, and $178 by 2050.The EIA assumes that demand for petroleum flattens out as utilities rely more on natural gas and renewable energy. It also assumes the economy grows around 1.9% annually, while energy consumption decreases by 0.4% a year.

The Russian Invasion of Ukraine

Russia is the third-largest producer of liquid fuels and petroleum, so when the country invaded Ukraine in late February 2022, it had immediate impact on Brent crude oil futures prices. As the conflict continued, the prices of crude oil settled in out on an upward trajectory, reaching nearly $130/b in early March, and staying well above $100/b into April.

US Oil Supply

The coronavirus pandemic and natural events are still affecting oil demand and supply. The U.S. experienced a drop in production following Hurricane Ida in September as the storm shut at least nine refineries.

The EIA estimates that U.S. crude oil production will average 12.01 million b/d in 2022 and 12.95 million b/d in 2023.11

Diminished OPEC Output

Oil price increases also reflect supply limitations by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and OPEC partner countries. In 2020, OPEC cut oil production due to decreased demand during the pandemic. It gradually increased oil output through 2021 and into 2022. Supply chain disruptions in late 2021 affected global trade as well.

At its most recent meeting in December 2021, OPEC stated it would continue to gradually adjust oil production upward by 0.4 million barrels per day (mb/d) in January 2022.

Natural Gas

Countries in Asia have relied on coal to generate power, but recent shortages have turned them to natural gas. Higher temperatures in parts of Asia and Europe have led to high demand for natural gas to generate power.

COVID-19 has hampered Europe’s natural gas production, and a colder-than-expected heating season in early 2021 reduced supplies further.

As a result, natural gas prices soared in 2021 and are expected to remain high in 2022, and affected countries have turned to gas-to-oil switching to reduce power generation costs.

Global Inventory Draw

As a reduction in oil production continues globally, countries are forced to draw from their stored reserves (not including the strategic petroleum reserves). This steady draw of oil is contributing to the increase in prices, because inventories are decreasing.

By: Christopher Lewis

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Should You Buy BP Shares? The Oil Giant Looks Cheap, But Approach With Caution

A lot has changed over the past year and a half. Oil demand has spiked and supply is struggling to catch up. The war in Ukraine has only added fuel to the fire, igniting what has to be one of the biggest ever U-turns in global energy policy.

Only a couple of months ago, policymakers were setting out plans to reduce global hydrocarbon production for good, but now they’re rushing to drive up supply. US president Joe Biden has recently reversed his decision to ban drilling for oil and gas on federal land while here in the UK, the government’s flagship energy policy contains new targets for drilling in the North Sea.

It is going to take months if not years for supply to match the world’s seemingly insatiable demand for hydrocarbons. Even major swing producers – namely the Opec cartel – are struggling to ramp up output despite higher production targets.

The supply and demand imbalance has sent prices surging

Global oil and gas markets have responded the only way free markets know how when demand outweighs supply – prices have spiked.

The Brent crude oil benchmark has jumped by 70% in just a few months, returning to levels not seen since 2014. Meanwhile, natural gas prices in the US are up by nearly 200% in the past 12 months (while in the UK and European markets prices have risen by 230% and 340% respectively – gas is not a global market).

In this environment it is not surprising that BP and its Big Oil peers are minting cash. Last year, the firm announced its highest profit in eight years and Factset broker projections are currently estimating a 42% jump in income for 2022. Shell’s (LSE: SHEL) earnings look likely to rise by about a third this year.

However, despite BP’s outstanding fundamentals, the stock’s performance on any timeline longer than 12 months leaves a lot to be desired. The shares have charged higher by 37% on a total return basis over the past year, but over the past decade, they’ve yielded a miserly total return of 3.9% per annum compared to 7.1% for the FTSE All-Share.

Investors should not overlook BP’s progress

BP is not the organisation it was the last time the price of Brent crude was above $100 a barrel. Its return on average capital employed (ROACE) – the company’s preferred measure of operating performance – hit 12.1% in 2021 compared to 9.9% eight years ago.

The company has also moved on from the 2010 Gulf of Mexico disaster, reduced its debt and outlined a plan to reduce its exposure to oil and gas by boosting renewable energy output.

Still, at face value, the stock does not seem to reflect the company’s improving trading performance. Shares in BP are selling at a forward price-to-earnings ratio (P/E) of 7.2 while shares in Shell command a valuation of just 6.5.

However, these figures need to be put into perspective. Both companies are generating bumper profits, and there is no guarantee this will last. From a different perspective, BP is trading at a trailing 12-month p/e of 14.1, roughly inline with its five-year average. Shell’s historical valuation is similar.

They’re making money today, but investors shouldn’t forget the fact that these two businesses jointly announced some of the largest losses in British corporate history in 2020 after the price of oil briefly turned negative. And these hefty losses forced both companies to reduce their shareholder payouts, underlining the fragile nature of oil company dividends.

A constant struggle to maintain output and maintain profits

Oil and gas producers face a constant struggle to maintain production. An oil well requires continual investment to maintain production, and sooner or later, the well will run dry. BP and its peers are always looking for new prospects and this costs huge amounts of money.

Last year, BP’s capital spending totalled $13bn and in 2020, the company had to spend $14bn, far more than the earnings generated from selling oil and gas in the first place. These figures illustrate the biggest issue these operators face: the need to keep investing and keep spending even if oil prices collapse.

BP and its peers are also having to invest large sums of money in developing green energy projects. These projects are not going to produce returns immediately, and could prove to be a drag on profits for years to come, only adding to the uncertainty for these enterprises.

As such, while shares in Shell and BP do look cheap at first glance, investors need to carefully consider where these businesses are heading and the challenges they may face going forward.

Windfall oil profits may only be temporary, while capital spending obligations are forever. These businesses might have a central role to play in the global economy, but that does not mean they should have a central role in investors’ portfolios.

Source: Should you buy BP shares? The oil giant looks cheap, but approach with caution | MoneyWeek

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Oil Prices Slip After China Cuts Import Quotas

Oil prices eased on Thursday after the world’s top importer China cut the first batch of crude import allocations for 2022, offsetting the impact of U.S. data showing fuel demand had held up despite soaring Omicron coronavirus infections.

Brent crude futures fell 27 cents, or 0.3%, to $78.96 a barrel at 1322 GMT. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures slid 36 cents, or 0.5%, to $76.20 a barrel after six straight sessions of gains. Oil prices pared earlier gains after China, the world’s top crude importer, lowered the first batch of 2022 import quotas to mostly independent refiners by 11%.

“Market sentiment weakened on worries that the Chinese government could take stricter actions against the teapots,” a Singapore-based analyst said, referring to the independent refiners.

Global oil prices have rebounded by between 50% and 60% in 2021 as fuel demand roared back to near pre-pandemic levels and deep production cuts by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies (OPEC+) for most of the year erased a supply glut. read more

U.S. Energy Information Administration data on Wednesday showed crude oil inventories fell by 3.6 million barrels in the week to Dec. 24, which was more than analysts polled by Reuters had expected. Gasoline and distillate inventories also fell, versus analysts’ forecasts for builds, indicating demand remained strong despite record COVID-19 cases in the United States.

Oil prices also drew support from steps taken by governments to limit the impact of record high COVID-19 cases on economic growth, such as easing testing rules. read more

OPEC+ will meet on Jan. 4 to decide whether to continue increasing output in February. Saudi Arabia’s King Salman said on Wednesday the OPEC+ production agreement was needed for oil market stability and that producers must comply with the pact. read more

Iraq said it would support sticking to existing OPEC+ policies to raise output by a combined 400,000 bpd in February. Shell said it had resumed exports of Forcados oil in Nigeria, easing one of three major global outages which also include Ecuador and Libya. read more

Crude futures slipped on Monday as concerns over slowing global growth outweighed the prospect of tightening supply after talks among key producers to raise output in coming months stalled.

Brent crude for September fell 0.52% to settle at $75.16 per barrel while U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude for August settled at $74.10 a barrel, for a loss of 0.62%.

Both benchmarks fell around 1% last week but still hover near highs last reached in October 2018.

The spread of coronavirus variants and unequal access to vaccines threaten the global economic recovery, finance chiefs of the G20 large economies warned on Saturday.

A Reuters tally of new COVID-19 infections shows them rising in 69 countries, with the daily rate pointing upwards since late-June and now hitting 478,000.

“The market has been a bit negative as of late amid the growing sense that the latest OPEC+ impasse could be a precursor to a pump-and-grab scenario, meaning a lot more oil potentially gets put on the market,” said Stephen Brennock of oil broker PVM.

Oil prices slumped last Tuesday after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and their allies, a group known as OPEC+, did not reach an agreement to increase output from August. This was because the United Arab Emirates rejected a proposed eight-month extension to OPEC+ output curbs.

The world’s top oil exporter Saudi Arabia met full contractual demand for crude oil from five buyers in August, but turned down at least two requests for additional volumes.

Front-month WTI crude futures posted their sixth weekly gain last week after a bullish report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration showed U.S. crude and gasoline stocks fell while gasoline demand reached its highest since 2019.

In response to higher oil prices, U.S. energy firms added oil and natural gas rigs for a second week in a row, data from Baker Hughes showed.

By : Dmitry Zhdannikov, Sonali Paul and Florence Tan

Source: Oil prices slip after China cuts import quotas | Reuters

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Oil Slumps on Omicron Fears; Posts Biggest Monthly Fall In 20 Months

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Source: Oil slumps on Omicron fears; posts biggest monthly fall in 20 months-Reuters

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Investors Buy Oil on Inflation Fears, Pushing Prices Even Higher

Luc Filip doesn’t work at a big energy company or an industrial manufacturer. He isn’t a day trader or an OPEC official. But he is still helping drive the surge in oil prices.

Mr. Filip is head of investments at SYZ Private Banking in Switzerland, and his big concern is inflation taking a bite out of the $28.5 billion of clients’ investments he manages. So he has been buying oil.

Fund managers like Mr. Filip are contributing to a rally that has pushed oil prices to their highest level since the 2014 energy bust. While energy-futures markets are more typically the province of producers and commodities-focused hedge funds, an oil rally that shows no signs of slowing is now exerting a pull on traditional money managers who run portfolios of stocks and bonds.

Because commodities prices tend to rise alongside inflation, they can protect investment portfolios against its erosive effects. When combined with other commodities like copper and gold, energy is “quite a decent hedge,” said Mr. Filip, who has been buying energy futures and selling longer-dated bonds that will lose value if inflation turns out to be high for longer than expected.

To be sure, inflation fears aren’t the main driver of the West Texas benchmark’s run from $62 a barrel in August to $85 this week. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries has stuck to its plan to increase production in small increments. A shortage of natural gas has caused some industrial manufacturers to switch to diesel, which is refined from oil.

Untangling these inputs is hard. But traders and analysts say that some of the recent oil gains could be explained by inflation worries, especially on days with no news about supply that might drive trading by the usual players such as commodities brokers and oil producers.

What the Inflation of the 1970s Can Teach Us Today. The U.S. inflation rate reached a 13-year high recently, triggering a debate about whether the country is entering an inflationary period similar to the 1970s.

In one sign of investors’ interest, money has been pouring into funds that buy energy futures and stocks, accelerating just as inflation fears took center stage this fall. These funds have experienced four straight weeks of inflows for the first time since the spring, with last week’s $753 million the highest weekly total in five months, according to data provider EPFR.

Data from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission showed a rise in speculative buying of crude-oil futures and options in the week to Oct. 19. Bets on $100-a-barrel oil—a price last seen seven years ago—surged earlier this summer. This month, investors have put wagers on $200.

These investors, especially those that are newcomers or buying for ancillary reasons like inflation fears, are taking the risk that a sudden shock could send oil prices plummeting. That happened in the spring of 2020, when demand collapsed due to the Covid-19 pandemic just as Saudi Arabia ramped up production.

What is more, energy is a major contributor to the consumer-price index, the broadest measure of inflation. That means that investing in energy as a hedge against rising prices can be a self-reinforcing cycle: As oil prices rise, so does inflation, which sends money managers like Mr. Filip back to the energy market to reup their protection.

“People buy oil, that boosts inflation expectations, and that can feed on itself,” said Evan Brown, head of asset allocation at UBS Asset Management.

Inflation has gone from an expected and natural consequence of economies emerging from lockdowns to a major source of investor angst. Higher prices eat into yields on fixed-rate bonds and loans. Stocks of companies that can’t as easily pass on higher costs to customers tend to take a hit, too.

Some investors have bet that oil prices could rise to $200 a barrel.

U.S. consumer prices in September rose at a 5.4% annual rate, faster than in August and just below a 30-year high. Germany’s 4.5% annual rate in October was the biggest year-to-year increase since 1993.

Central bankers in the U.S. and Europe say higher prices are likely temporary and will ease as supply-chain delays are resolved and economies work through restart creaks. But investors aren’t so sure. In addition to more traditional inflation hedges, such as bonds whose yields are linked to consumer prices, they are flocking to commodities.

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How concerned are you about inflation? Join the conversation below.

Mr. Brown, who helps devise portfolios for some $1.2 trillion of client assets at UBS, is recommending commodity futures, energy stocks and currencies of oil-rich countries such as Russia and Canada. John Roe, head of multiasset funds at Legal & General Investment Management, said he is protecting his investments against runaway prices with Chilean pesos, which are linked to copper prices, and shares in gold miners.

So far the strategy appears to be working. Inflation is rising but so are the prices of energy and many metals. Paul O’Connor, head of multiasset at Janus Henderson, warned that might not last.

Today’s inflation is being driven by gummed-up supply chains that have created shortages of nearly everything, pushing the prices of raw materials higher. But he expects future inflation to be driven more by rising wages, and it is less clear if that would have the same effect on commodity prices. “Quite questionable,” he said of the strategy.

By: Anna Hirtenstein

Anna Hirtenstein is a reporter at The Wall Street Journal in London, covering financial markets. She was previously a reporter at Bloomberg in London, an investment banker at Greentech Capital Advisors in Zurich and has also worked as a field correspondent with a focus on oil in Northern Iraq and West Africa. 

Source: Investors Buy Oil on Inflation Fears, Pushing Prices Even Higher – WSJ

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Ng, Abigail (14 October 2021). “Goldman Sachs says oil prices could be higher for much longer”. CNBC. Retrieved 18 October 2021.

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