Brent oil prices could hit $100 a barrel by the fourth quarter of 2019 as Venezuela and Iran experience supply issues and demand continues to grow.
A new report by financial services firm Raymond James expects oil demand to remain strong and drive prices higher as Venezuela’s oil production collapses, Iran’s exports slow and a fuel switch for the global waterborne shipping industry goes into effect in 2020.
The slew of oil-related circumstances have Raymond James upgrading its average prices prediction for 2019, with prices for both West Texas Intermediate, the American crude oil benchmark, and Brent, the global crude oil benchmark, up $10 to $77.50 and $90 a barrel, respectively.
By the fourth quarter of 2019, Brent oil could reach $100 a barrel, with WTI at $85 at the same time. Raymond James sees Brent and WTI hitting highs of $105 and $95 a barrel, respectively, in the first quarter of 2020. From 2021 on, Brent and WTI prices are expected to average $80 and $75 a barrel, respectively.
Global supply growth is expected to be driven by the U.S., with additions of more than 1.3 million barrels a day of oil production each year through 2022. U.S. shale oil fields like West Texas’ Permian Basin, South Texas’ Eagle Ford Shale and North Dakota’s Bakken are driving much of the supply growth, according to Department of Energy figures.
Higher oil prices are needed to temper global oil demand, which Raymond James said is already being affected and is downgrading its demand growth by 200,000 barrels a day for 2018 and 2019.
The oil market is only expected to stabilize by 2022, the report said.
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