The crude oil markets have slammed into the top of a triangle that I have marked on the charts as we continue to see bullish pressure. The question now is whether or not we can break out?
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.
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.
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- “The impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) and the global oil price shock on the fiscal position of oil-exporting developing countries”. OECD. 30 September 2020. Retrieved 19 January 2022.
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