Shafaq News/ Economists and politicians expected, on Tuesday, that oil prices would jump $ 180 a barrel at the end of this year due to the strong increase in demand for energy.
And most traders, policy makers and analysts expect energy demand to grow strongly over the next year, while supplies will not grow at the same pace, Bloomberg News Agency reported.
In closed sessions, Western officials are talking with concern about the possibility of the price of Brent crude, the international oil standard, reaching $150 a barrel in a short period, compared to about $120 a barrel currently.
While some talk about the price reaching $175 and $180 a barrel by the end of this year, as a result of the recovery in demand after the outbreak of the new Corona virus subsided, and European sanctions against Russia.
Economic analyst, Javier Blas, says in an analysis published by Bloomberg News Agency, that while fears of high oil prices are rising this summer, there is another storm forming on the horizon, which is that the shock to high oil prices will not end by the end of this year. Most likely, the shock will continue over the next year.
Next Wednesday, the International Energy Agency will announce its first forecasts for supply and demand in the global oil market next year, marking the start of investors’ focus on the following year.
Indeed, traders began dealing in Brent crude contracts for delivery next year, which led to a rise in the price of contracts for December 2023 delivery to $ 100 a barrel, which is a clear indication that the market will continue to lack supplies.
While everyone is waiting for the expectations of the International Energy Agency, commodity and raw materials trading companies, oil companies, member states of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries “OPEC” and Western oil-consuming countries have already begun to publish their forecasts for the next year, and there is agreement that global demand will increase during the next year by between one million million and 2.5 million barrels per day.
Demand is likely to increase this year by about 1.8 million barrels per day, according to the International Energy Agency. It is known that any increase in demand by more than one million barrels per day is considered significant.
Why did oil prices fall?
On the other hand, the supply or supply side has not improved much. Market participants expect at best Russia’s production to continue at its current level of about 10 million barrels per day, a decrease of nearly 10% since its invasion of Ukraine in late February.
There are analysts who expect a decline in Russia’s production over the next year by between one and a half million barrels per day, in contrast, the member countries of the OPEC Plus grouping began this year to increase their production, which led to the disappearance of their surpluses of production capacity.
Last week, OPEC Secretary-General Muhammad Barkindo said that with the exception of two or three countries, OPEC Plus countries do not have a surplus in production capacity that would allow them to increase production in response to demand growth.
An analyst specializing in international economics, Javier Blass, says that the most likely outcome is the continuation of the decline in crude oil stocks in the world for the third year in a row, after the decline in stocks of crude and refined oil during the past 18 months.
Since the beginning of this year, Western governments have sought to alleviate the shortage of supplies by injecting quantities of strategic reserves of crude into the market.
Without taking additional steps, the injection of reserves will end last January, which means the disappearance of one of the most important means of achieving balance in the market.
At the same time, the world suffers from a lack of production capacities in the refining sector, which means that fuel prices will continue to rise, at a higher rate than the increase in oil prices, in contrast to the increase in the profit margins of refiners along with crude oil production companies.
There are many questions surrounding the expectations of the oil market during the next year, and most of them are related to the actions of governments. Each move can reduce demand by between 1 and 1.5 million barrels per day, and this will lead to a significant reduction in the price of crude.
The most important question is how long the sanctions against Russia will last. Other questions relate to the policy of zero infections with the emerging coronavirus in China, Western sanctions on Iran and Venezuela, and finally the use of crude oil reserves in Arab countries.
Although talking about the oil price shock often revolves around the rise in these prices, there is also an important point related to the duration of these high prices.
The previous oil price crisis was relatively short, in late 2007 and early 2008, when the price reached $120 per barrel in May 2008 and then reached its peak in July 2008 when it recorded $147.5 per barrel.
But in early September of the same year, the price fell to $100 a barrel, and in December of the same year, the price fell to $40 a barrel.
The scenario of price hikes during 2021/2022 is a carbon copy of the price hike in 2007/2008. But there are no indications that prices will fall as happened 14 years ago. Indications are that prices will not remain at their current high levels until the end of this year and continue next year, but will also rise to higher levels.
Finally, Javier Blass says that the average price of Brent crude for the current year is 103 dollars, while the average in 2008 was about 95.5 dollars per barrel.
Prices may rise further over the next six months. Not only that, but there is no sign of a near end to the rally’s rise.
And Reuters news agency quoted delegates from OPEC and sources from the oil sector as saying: The growth of global demand for oil will slow in 2023, with the rise in crude and fuel prices that push up inflation and cause a slowdown in the global economy.
Fuel use has rebounded after falling due to the coronavirus pandemic in 2020 and is on track to surpass 2019 levels this year, even as prices have risen to record levels. But higher prices undermined growth forecasts for 2022 and fueled expectations of slower growth in 2023.
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is expected to release its first demand forecast for 2023 in July, and its forecasts, as well as those of the Paris-based International Energy Agency, are being watched for indications of the direction OPEC’s policies will take.