Catalytic converter – Crude oil prices: A range-bound future

Catalytic converter – Crude oil prices: A range-bound future

Published on 3 December 2014

Last week’s OPEC meeting has fuelled the continuing slide in crude oil prices that began back in June 2014. With crude oil prices down c 40% since that time and no sign of support from either OPEC or non-OPEC producing nations, the world has had to wake up to the burgeoning level of oversupply hampering the crude oil markets. Driven by booming oil shale activity, US oil production reached 8.9mmb/d in October, within reach of Saudi Arabia at 9.75mmb/d. From this perspective it was clear something had to be done. With the industry now beginning to cut spending in response to weaker pricing, we expect that a material reduction in US oil output, and by consequence a stabilisation in crude prices, is on the horizon. In the interim we expect pricing to remain weak, with key investment opportunities in the upstream sector being low-cost operators with significant cash and low debt. We reduce our 2015 oil price expectations to $75/bbl for Brent and $70/bbl for WTI, while leaving our long-term view unchanged at $80/bbl.

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