Raymond James & Associates has increased its 2017/2018 West Texas Intermediate oil price forecast by $5.00/bbl, but cautioned that given the U.S. unconventional industry's ability to post efficiency gains, the bias over time is for prices to move lower.
Specifically, the 2017 and 2018 forecasts for WTI have been raised to $80/bbl from $75. Brent prices for 2017 are expected to average $83/bbl versus an earlier forecast of $79, while in 2018, prices should average $80/bbl from $75. In 2019 and beyond, the forecast is for $70 WTI and $75 Brent.
"Given the U.S. shale industry's ability to post steady cost efficiency gains, our bias would be that, over time, oil prices move lower, or the futures curve becomes backwardated starting in mid-2017," said analysts J. Marshall Adkins and Pavel Molchanov. "This $70 price deck should support sufficient long-term U.S. oil supply growth to offset slowly rising global oil demand and falling non-U.S. oil supply."
At the beginning of 2016, Raymond James energy analysts had forecast WTI/Brent would average $75/$79. In early February, they had forecast WTI would reach $50/bbl later this year in the face of a futures strip that was considered "simply unsustainable" (see Shale Daily, Feb. 8).Click here to continue reading.
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