Oil: No justification for $100 – OCBC

18.10.2021

WTI and Brent are over $82/bbl and 84/bbl, respectively. How much higher can oil go? Howie Lee, Economist at OCBC Bank, remains highly sceptical about $100 oil.

Pre-shale days are far away

“Many are looking at oil’s price chart and pointing out the lack of notable resistance levels from here to $100 for their $100-oil justification. But to do that demonstrates a lack of understanding of the oil market structure. The era of $100 oil was before the US shale boom and stocks were way tighter than what they are now.”
“Despite the current stock tightness, stocks are still not as tight as the pre-shale era – hence, it does seem ambitious to suggest prices return to pre-shale days.”

“If implied gasoline consumption increases from 9,750kbpd to 10,500kbpd on a sustained basis (+8%), or commercial oil inventories fall by 70mn barrels to 350mn barrels (-17%) then that $100 theory may have a chance – but these are huge hurdles that I am not particularly optimistic about. On that lack of optimism, it appears that this is as high as the oil market may go – Brent at $85, WTI at $80 – with the potential for a slight overshoot by $3- $5/bbl.”

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