Oil prices have been moving up in recent weeks, largely owing to geopolitical volatility and supply disruptions.
“The disruptions in Libyan oil supplies have lasted far longer than we initially thought with no near-term resolution in sight, which was further complicated by the involvement of the military late last week,” said Goldman Sachs’ Jeff Currie in a new note to clients. “Combined with the ongoing problems in Iraq which we see extending into the autumn, OPEC outages since the beginning of the summer have taken 33 million barrels off the market, which was further exacerbated by a 32 million barrel downward revision to total OECD petroleum inventories by the IEA.”
“In our view, these developments will likely lend support to Brent prices around the $US115.00/bbl level in the very near term,” he said.
Brent oil is current trading near $US110 per barrel.
Fortunately, there are plenty of supply sources that should prevent oil prices from getting too out of control.
“[P]rices too far above that are unlikely as the [Strategic Petroleum Reserve] acts as significant spare capacity,” Currie added. “Not only has the shale revolution in the US freed up these supplies, but given the importance of the current economic recovery, governments will be quick to temper any price spike with strategic reserves.”
In the note, Currie raised his 3- and 6-month Brent price forecasts to $US110 and $US108, respectively, from $US105. His 12-month target continues to be $US105.
Here’s a historical chart of Brent oil via Investing.com.
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