June 02, 2015

Don't expect much more change in #oilprices

Yes, the oil market can be volatile at times, with commodities traders and their hoarding against future shifts adding to the mix.

But, OPEC's strategy, or more specifically, the strategy of Saudi Arabia and other Arab Gulf core members of OPEC, to play Whack-a-Mole with US shale production, seems to have worked, and the June 3 OPEC meeting is expected to say the course. That's even as OPEC members are currently pumping 1 million barrels a day above targets. And, as US oil production hit a 43-year high, indicating Whack-a-Mole may come back up, especially if it's true that many of the idled/capped wells were already in decline, which of course is a big issue with shale wells, the narrowness and steepness of their production curves.

Yes, the US has plenty of fracked-and-capped wells ready to restart production, but the forced cuts in shale production have had their effect. And, while Western oil companies may squeeze a little more efficiency out of future well drilling, more of that's likely to come in the pricier offshore exploration.

Through the rest of the summer, I'd venture West Texas Intermediate trades in a band of roughly $59-$66.

Indeed, once OPEC's lesson-making sinks back in again, oil prices might even fall.

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