December 09, 2015

#Oilprices: Searching for new lows?

Regular readers may take note of the quarterly poll on oil prices I've been running here the past couple of years. Having been at two places in the heart of the Permian Basin, one near the heart of the Barnett Shale (yes, primarily gas these days, but also oil), and one at the edge of the Barnett Shale, I know a little bit about oil.

That said, while oil prices have three weeks to rebound, my current poll doesn't have a vote for as low as they are now. Oil fell below $37 a barrel on Tuesday, for West Texas Intermediate, before ending at $37.51.

And, it could get worse, if you're not a driver, in the short term. How worse? Something like $32 a barrel ... or lower. Commodities futures speculators are about to have to eat their hats, it seems, as places for storing surplus oil are running out.

So, what's the longer-term outlook? (By that, I mean the next 2-3 years, not long-term.)

Tom Kloza of OPIS, one of the more rational people in oil commodities analysis, thinks a fair amount of rebound could start happening in the second half of next year, and we possibly get above $60 a barrel by early 2017, as his video at the second link shows.

Personally, color me skeptical. For one thing, other analysts and Wall Street banks disagree with him. And, Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz is among those saying that, so far at least, U.S. oil production's retrenchment has been slow and limited.

Beyond that, Kloza does mention in passing the possibility that something like Brazil devaluing its rial, its currency, as something that would drive oil prices into the $20s, but doesn't dive into that in great detail.

That said, speaking of devaluations? It seems to have helped Russia weather the storm somewhat. Meanwhile, the Saudis are also working on getting more into refining and its added value. More on both countries' situations here.

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