Oil prices expected at around $65-$70 through 2023

Long-term expectations for the average price of Brent crude remain anchored around $70 per barrel, close to the $72 average realized in 2018. (Reuters)
Updated 16 January 2019

Oil prices expected at around $65-$70 through 2023

  • Despite the recent slump in oil prices, forecasts have edged down by less than $5 per barrel compared with the last annual survey conducted at the start of 2018
  • Brent prices in 2019 are expected to average $65 per barrel, unchanged from surveys in 2016, 2017 and 2018

LONDON: Oil prices are expected to oscillate close to current levels well into the next decade, averaging around $65-$70 per barrel through 2023, according to an annual survey of energy professionals conducted by Reuters.
Despite the recent slump in oil prices, forecasts have edged down by less than $5 per barrel compared with the last annual survey conducted at the start of 2018, and have changed little over the last three years.
Long-term expectations for the average price of Brent crude remain anchored around $70 per barrel, close to the $72 average realized in 2018.
The results are based on the responses from just over 1,000 energy market professionals to a poll conducted between Jan. 8 and Jan. 11.
Brent prices in 2019 are expected to average $65 per barrel, unchanged from surveys in 2016, 2017 and 2018.
In 2020, Brent is also expected to average $65 per barrel, revised down by $5 or less compared with prior surveys.
Far fewer respondents now see any risk of prices spiking to $100 or more by the end of the decade as a surge in US shale output has eased fears of supply shortages.
The proportion of respondents expecting prices to average more than $90 in 2020 has fallen to just 3 percent this year, from 13 percent at the time of the 2016 survey.
By 2023, prices are still expected to average $70, with most forecasts between $60 and $80, which suggests most energy professionals think there will be enough production developed at this level to meet consumption growth.
Among survey respondents, 26 percent are involved directly in oil and gas production (exploration, drilling, production, refining, marketing and field services).
Most of the rest work in banking and finance (18 percent), research (9 percent), professional services (9 percent), hedge funds (8 percent) and physical commodity trading (6 percent).
The results from respondents involved directly in the oil and gas industry were similar to those in other sectors.
Oil and gas insiders and those outside the industry have more or less the same outlook for prices in 2019 and 2020.
Insiders are marginally more bullish than outsiders on prices, but the difference is just $1.50 per barrel in 2019, rising to $3.50 by 2023.
Respondents exhibit more certainty about prices this year and next compared with subsequent years, which is natural given that uncertainty tends to increase over longer-time horizons.
Responses for 2019-2020 are tightly clustered, while expectations for 2021-2023 exhibit more variation. Even so, few respondents expect average prices to fall below $55 or rise above $85 in the next five years.
The level of uncertainty, as measured by the standard deviation of responses, has remained constant over the last four surveys.
Short-term uncertainty has remained little changed, with the standard deviation of responses for the first forecast year at $8 in 2019, compared with $7 in 2018, $6 in 2017 and $8 in 2016.
Long-term uncertainty has also held constant, with the standard deviation of forecasts for the fifth year at $19 in 2019, compared with $18 in 2018, $18 in 2017 and $20 in 2016.
There is no significant difference between oil and gas industry insiders and outsiders, with the level of uncertainty similar in both groups for both short-term and long-term prices.
Overall, most respondents expect the oil market to remain comfortably supplied in the foreseeable future, with prices oscillating around the current level or a little higher and relatively moderate volatility.


Africa development bank says risks to continent’s growth ‘increasing by the day’

Updated 18 August 2019

Africa development bank says risks to continent’s growth ‘increasing by the day’

  • The trade dispute between US and China has roiled global markets and unnerved investors
  • African nations need to boost trade with each other to cushion the impact of external shocks

DAR ES SALAAM: The US-China trade war and uncertainty over Brexit pose risks to Africa’s economic prospects that are “increasing by the day,” the head of the African Development Bank (AfDB) told Reuters.
The trade dispute between the world’s two largest economies has roiled global markets and unnerved investors as it stretches into its second year with no end in sight.
Britain, meanwhile, appears to be on course to leave the European Union on Oct. 31 without a transition deal, which economists fear could severely disrupt trade flows.
Akinwumi Adesina, president of the AfDB, said the bank could review its economic growth projection for Africa — of 4 percent in 2019 and 4.1 percent in 2020 — if global external shocks accelerate.
“We normally revise this depending on global external shocks that could slowdown global growth and these issues are increasing by the day,” Adesina told Reuters late on Saturday on the sidelines of the Southern African Development Community meeting in Tanzania’s commercial capital Dar es Salaam.
“You have Brexit, you also have the recent challenges between Pakistan and India that have flared off there, plus you have the trade war between the United States and China. All these things can combine to slow global growth, with implications for African countries.”
The bank chief said African nations need to boost trade with each other and add value to agricultural produce to cushion the impact of external shocks.
“I think the trade war has significantly impacted economic growth prospects in China and therefore import demand from China has fallen significantly and so demand for products and raw materials from Africa will only fall even further,” he said.
“It will also have another effect with regard to China’s own outward-bound investments on the continent,” he added, saying these could also affect official development assistance.
Adesina said a continental free-trade zone launched last month, the African Continental Free Trade Area, could help speed up economic growth and development, but African nations needed to remove non-tariff barriers to boost trade.
“The countries that have always been facing lower volatilities have always been the ones that do a lot more in terms of regional trade and do not rely on exports of raw materials,” Adesina said.
“The challenges cannot be solved unless all the barriers come down. Free mobility of labor, free mobility of capital and free mobility of people.”