Displaying items by tag: shale
Oil is in the middle of a fit. The commodity just recently entered a bear market and it is has been swinging up and down based on confusion over whether it will be over- or undersupplied in coming years. The market is plunging today as OPEC announced yesterday that it sees a slowdown in oil demand coming as well as oversupply. According to OPEC, “The recent downward revision to the global economic growth forecast and associated uncertainties confirms the emerging pressure on oil demand observed in recent months”.
FINSUM: The oil market seems to be trying to get ahead of a recession. OPEC’s demand forecast has slumped considerably, which in our opinion is one of the major drivers of the bear market.
Oil lost big time over the last few weeks and entered a bear market late last week. However, it is surging today as new hope of an OPEC output cut has come to light. Saudi Arabia, the leader of OPEC, says OPEC is willing to consider another round of output cuts as a measure to keep prices high. The last time OPEC agreed to a round of cuts, the market was pulled out of its deep bear market and more than doubled in price.
FINSUM: We used to be skeptical that OPEC could pull off a coordinated cut because of the competing interests of members. But the success it saw last time around means no one should doubt it.
Oil prices have taken a nose dive lately, and yesterday officially fell into a bear market. Prices on Brent crude fell below the $70 per barrel mark for the first time since April. US crude is even lower, with prices sitting at $59 per barrel. For most of the summer the market was worried about undersupply, but the US has been more generous with sanction exemptions on Iran, and the US, Russia, and Saudi Arabia have all boosted output, alleviating fears and pushing prices lower.
FINSUM: The oil market seems to be trading based on supply and demand fundamentals—just like it should. It is very hard to predict how things will progress.
The oil market is nervous, which seems likely to lead to volatility. The surprise is that sharp moves may trend to the upside rather than the downside. The two big concerns are about how sanctions on Iran may crimp output, as well as how OPEC lacks spare capacity to boost output. Such concerns are a stark change from the attitude that accompanied the sharp price falls in recent weeks, when supply seemed to be expanding strongly.
FINSUM: The Saudis are saying they will expand production to a record, but the reality is they do not want to do so because they don’t want prices to fall. It seems like OPEC will walk a line to keep prices where they are.
The oil market has been in an interesting period since at least 2014. In the years prior, many had been worried about the concept of peak oil, or the idea that the world was past its peak output of oil and that supply would grow ever tighter. Then the shale boom happened and the world was suddenly floating in the stuff, causing prices to plummet. Now we are somewhere back in the middle as there are genuine concerns about supply at the same time as growing demand. Shale growth is slowing in the face of capital constraints and pipeline issues, and “The Saudis are just about out of spare capacity”, according to a top energy adviser.
FINSUM: We think the concerns over supply are legitimate enough that they will be supportive of prices even if we are slowly headed towards recession. That said, we think more supply will come to market to meet demand than many anticipate.