JP Morgan analysts said in a recent note issued just today, Friday, that it is unlikely that Brent crude prices will exceed the $100 per barrel barrier this year unless major geopolitical developments occur, amid possibilities that the OPEC + group will increase supplies and recover. Russian flows by mid-2023.
While oil prices are now declining by more than 3% and on their way to record weekly losses, under pressure from the rising dollar and the huge increase in US oil inventories.
According to the note, and analysts ruled out in a note that the “OPEC +” alliance would move to keep the minimum price at $80, and therefore they would not need to cut production quotas this year, expecting the group to add 400,000 barrels per day to supplies.
Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said on Thursday that the existing OPEC+ agreement to cut production target by two million barrels per day would remain in effect until the end of the year.
JPMorgan analysts said that with Russian production expected to see a full recovery by June and high price levels preventing the United States from buying back to boost its strategic petroleum reserves, the gap between supply and demand is likely to narrow.
JP Morgan kept its estimate of oil demand growth from China, the largest importer, at 770,000 barrels per day.
Analysts expect China to import record quantities of crude in 2023 due to the increased demand for fuel, mainly due to the recovery of movement and travel after the abolition of Covid-19 restrictions.
Statements by the Saudi Energy Minister
Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said that the current “OPEC +” agreement on oil production will remain in force until the end of the year and will not change.
The prince blamed the International Energy Agency and its initial forecast of a drop in Russian production of 3 million barrels per day for the releases from the US Strategic Petroleum Reserve last year. Adding: “The International Energy Agency was responsible for this because of the yelling and intimidation they did about how much Russia would lose in terms of its production.”
He added, “The Chinese economy is opening up and because of that you will have a request… But we have all gone through cycles of opening and closing, so what are the guarantees (we have), as well as the world, that nothing of what we went through, each of us, every country?”
Nymex crude is now down 3.3%, at $75.9 a barrel.
While Brent crude fell to levels of $82.5 per barrel, a decline of 3.1%.
Prices tend to record weekly losses after pressure from the dollar’s appreciation and the increase in US inventories last week.