Iran News ...


2/19/07

Oil price forecast back up to Dlrs 59 after deeper OPEC cuts

London, Feb 19, IRNA - The Centre for Global Energy Studies (CGES) Monday again revised this year's oil prices back upwards following deeper OPEC output cuts and a brief spell of cold weather.

In its latest monthly report, the London-based centre forecast in its reference case that the price of benchmark Dated Brent crude would average Dlrs 59.3 per barrel (dpb) in 2007 compared with 54.3 dpb it predicted in January.

"OPEC does not need to make any further output cuts to support oil prices. The eleven members (excluding Angola) have cut their aggregate oil production by nearly 1.5 million barrels per day (bpd) from last year's peak level of almost 30 mbpd," it said.

CGES's analysis was that OPEC's current level of production, which is estimated at slightly less than 30.1 mbpd in January, is below the expected call on the organization, even though it said it was less optimistic than most about oil demand growth in 2007.

Last month, it warned that unless OPEC production was permitted to rise in the coming months, oil prices could once again set off in an upward direction as refiners chase scarce barrels to meet summer demand for transport fuels in North America.

Its latest forecast was that the price of Dated Brent would edge up from an average of 56.6 dpb in the first quarter of this year to 59 dpb in the second before breaking the 60 dpb level.

On the supply side of the balance, CGES said that delays to a number of non-OPEC projects and steeper declines in some mature provinces have reduced estimates of non-OPEC output in the final quarter of 2006, compared with those made just six months ago.

Growth in non-OPEC oil supply has consistently lagged behind expectations in recent years, due to a combination of steeper than expected declines in mature provinces such as the North Sea and Mexico and various unforeseen events.

The monthly report suggested that an additional 200,000 bpd of non-OPEC output compared with its reference case would put oil prices under renewed downward pressure by the middle of the year, forecasting that Dated Brent could average 52.9 dpb in 2007.

But with higher demand growth, that the average price could reach 66.6 dpb, with rates breaking the 70 dpb barrier again by the third quarter and reaching 74.5 dpb before the end of the year.

... Payvand News - 2/19/07 ... --



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