Another Article on $100/barrel Oil
From Bloomberg another article concerning when oil will reach $100/barrel. As before the issue is not necessarily supply or that we are running out of oil, the issue is demand. The US and European consumers are not that sensitive to price increases and demand in China and India are increasing rapidly.
Why the sudden interest in oil? Or is just everyone is tired of talking about the real estate market.
The $100-a-barrel oil that Goldman Sachs Group Inc. said would prevail by 2009 may be only a few months away.
Jeffrey Currie, a London-based commodity analyst at the world's biggest securities firm, says $95 crude is likely this year unless OPEC unexpectedly increases production, and declining inventories are raising the chances for $100 oil. Jeff Rubin at CIBC World Markets predicts $100 a barrel as soon as next year.
Currie, Goldman's global head of commodities research in London, is predicting that oil prices will probably touch a record and stay at unprecedented levels for months or years. The all-time high for Nymex crude futures is $78.40 a barrel on July 14, 2006.
``Ultimately, the key to the outlook going forward is when will Saudi Arabia ramp up production,'' he said in an interview. ``If you have a situation in which inventories globally get drawn to critically low levels, the volatility in this market is likely to explode, which significantly increases the probability of $100 oil.'' Oil might slip to $73.50 if OPEC were to start producing more now, he said.
The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries is scheduled to next meet in September. No members have called for a gathering before then. A decision to raise output at that time would lead to greater supplies toward the end of the year.
The failure of near-record fuel prices to restrain global oil demand growth is what concerns Rubin, chief strategist at the brokerage unit of Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce in Toronto.
``Prices have doubled, and demand is alive and well and accelerating,'' he said in a July 18 interview. ``The argument that rising prices would choke demand and bring increased output is falling to the wayside.''
A National Petroleum Council study led by former Exxon Mobil chairman Lee Raymond, released last week, predicted a growing gap between production and demand for oil and gas during the next two decades. As recently as 2005, Raymond said oil prices had probably peaked and dismissed the possibility that supply and demand could not be brought back into balance. See earlier post.
``It appears that high prices are acceptable to the American consumer,'' said Robert Ebel, chairman of the energy program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington. ``People want the house with a yard and white-picket fence so they are moving further and further out of the cities. They have to just get up earlier and drive further.''
Outside the U.S., demand increases are being led by India and China, where growing economies mean more cars and trucks and more factories that burn oil and gas.
Consumption between now and the end of the year will increase by 3.6 million barrels a day because of seasonal shifts. The rise is equal to the daily production of Kuwait and Oman combined, and it comes after OPEC twice in the past year cut production to support prices.