Saudi Arabia’s Apicorp predicts $60-$70 oil price by summer

A Chinese commuter sets off for work in Beijing. After a turbulent end to 2018, hopes of an end to the China-US trade dispute have buoyed oil prices. (AP Photo)
Updated 09 January 2019
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Saudi Arabia’s Apicorp predicts $60-$70 oil price by summer

  • Arab Petroleum Investments Corporation (Apicorp) made the prediction in a report as the oil price again ticked higher
  • After a turbulent final quarter in 2018, oil prices have been supported in the first week of 2019 by cuts from OPEC producers and Russia

LONDON: A top Saudi energy project funder expects oil to trade between $60 and $70 by mid-2019 as the price of crude rose on Tuesday.
Arab Petroleum Investments Corporation (Apicorp) made the prediction in a report as the oil price again ticked higher, supported by the hopes that talks between China and the US would defuse current trade tensions.
“I think there is a very good chance that we will get a reasonable settlement that China can live with and that we can live with,” US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said.
After a turbulent final quarter in 2018, oil prices have been supported in the first week of 2019 by cuts from OPEC producers and Russia.
However, a glut of new US supply and a surge in shale oil drilling is also putting downward pressure on the price.
S&P Global Ratings on Tuesday lowered its average annual price assumptions for both Brent and West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil for 2019 by $10 per barrel to $55 and $50, respectively.
“The ongoing trade war between the US and China as well as news of China’s economic slowdown, has led to concerns about the outlook for global demand,” the ratings agency said in a statement.
“Moreover OPEC, particularly Saudi Arabia and Russia, were producing at record levels to offset what was expected to be a meaningful reduction in global supply due to the Iranian sanctions.
“However, the sanctions fell short of expectations on Nov. 2 when it was announced that eight countries would be exempted for six months from Iranian oil import sanctions. This had the effect of drastically increasing the amount of oil expected to be on the market.”

Apicorp, which is headquartered in Saudi Arabia, is a multilateral development bank with shareholders from KSA, the UAE, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Egypt, Syria, Algeria, Iraq and Libya.


US-China trade deal hopes grow as oil prices decline

Updated 19 June 2019
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US-China trade deal hopes grow as oil prices decline

  • Data suggested a smaller-than-expected fall in American crude inventories
  • Preparations underway for Donald Trump to meet Xi Jinping next week at the G20 summit in Osaka

LONDON: Oil prices declined on Wednesday as data suggested a smaller-than-expected fall in American crude inventories, as hopes for a US-China trade deal continue to grow.
Brent crude futures were down 51 cents at $61.72 a barrel.
US West Texas Intermediate crude fell 25 cents to $53.65 a barrel. On Tuesday, it had recorded its biggest daily rise since early January.
After weeks of swelling, US crude stocks fell by 812,000 barrels last week to 482 million, the American Petroleum Institute said on Tuesday, a smaller fall than the 1.1-million-barrel drop analysts had expected.
Official estimates on US crude stockpiles from the US government’s Energy Information Administration are due during afternoon trading.
US President Donald Trump offered some support, saying preparations were underway for him to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping next week at the G20 summit in Osaka, Japan, amid hopes a trade deal could be thrashed out between the two powers. Trump has repeatedly threatened China with tariffs since winning office in 2016.
European Central Bank President Mario Draghi also offered a boost, saying on Tuesday that he would ease policy again if inflation failed to accelerate.
Tensions remain high in the Middle East after last week’s tanker attacks. Fears of a confrontation between Iran and the US have mounted, with Washington blaming Tehran, which has denied any role.
Trump said he was prepared to take military action to stop Iran having a nuclear bomb but left open whether he would approve the use of force to protect Gulf oil supplies.
On Wednesday, oil markets shrugged off a rocket attack on a site in southern Iraq used by foreign oil companies.
“It is interesting to note that the crude oil futures market could not rally on hawks planting bombs in the Strait of Hormuz but could rally on doves planting quantitative easing,” Petromatrix’s Olivier Jakob said in a note.
“This is an oil market that doesn’t know how to react when an oil tanker blows up but knows how to react when the head of a central bank makes some noise.”
Members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries have agreed to meet on July 1, followed by a meeting with non-OPEC allies on July 2, after weeks of wrangling over dates.
OPEC and its allies will discuss whether to extend a deal on cutting 1.2 million barrels per day of production that runs out this month.