News Column

Goldman Slashes Brent Oil Price Forecast to $ 110

Oct. 20, 2012

LONDON -- Wall Street giant Goldman Sachs, one of the biggest banks in commodity trading, has called an end to the oil price super-cycle, reversing years of bullish recommendations, citing a rise in unconventional oil supplies in the US and Canada.

Goldman has been highest predictor among major oil price forecasters but said "long-dated" or five-year forward Brent crude may be anchored at about $ 90 a barrel, Reuters reported.

The bank also cut its 2013 Brent forecast to $ 110 a barrel from $ 130. Brent traded near $ 112 yesterday.

"Over the past three years long-dated Brent crude oil prices have shown signs of stabilizing around $ 90 per barrel. This suggests a return to the pricing regime that characterized the crude oil market in the 1990s," Goldman's analysts Jeffrey Currie and David Greely said in a note.

"We expect that going forward long-dated oil prices will be anchored by the potential for substantial growth in crude oil supplies from US shale, Canadian oil sands, and the deepwater. Net, we see a return to a structurally stable, but cyclically tight market," they said.

Goldman was a lead forecaster during the 2003-2008 oil price boom when unexpectedly robust demand in Asia outpaced global supply and prices soared as spare capacity in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries fell close to zero and the refining industry struggled to meet demand.

But just after the bank predicted a "super spike" to $ 200 a barrel in 2008, financial crisis hit the global economy. Oil prices collapsed from a peak of $ 147 in July 2008 to below $ 40.

Amrita Sen at thinktank Energy Aspect told Reuters oil was unlikely to fall much below $ 90 a barrel because lower prices make development of new shale projects uneconomic.

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(c)2012 Arab News (Jeddah, Saudi Arabia)

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Source: (c)2012 Arab News (Jeddah, Saudi Arabia)