Oil could end 2018 at $65

Oil could end 2018 at $65

By Tunde Osho (with agency reports)

Oil price could end the year 2018 between $65 and $70, many researchers and analysts including BMI, research outfit of ratings agency of Fitch has predicted.

It ended 2017 at $60 but began 2018 on a high, reaching almost $70 in January 2018. It has since retreated to $65.05 though it fell below $60 in mid-February 2018.

Record U.S. oil production is raising crude inventories – oil that’s pumped out of the ground but hasn’t been sold. Investors however worry that demand won’t keep pace with the increased supply.

U.S. crude producers pumped out an average 9.3 million barrels a day in 2017 and will average 10.6 million this year, according to a U.S. Energy Information Administration report this week.

“The market is adapting to the fact that we are going to have oil inventories increase,” said Rob Thummel, a portfolio manager at energy investment firm Tortoise Capital.

This year could mark a comeback for commodities, with oil potentially hitting $80 per barrel, a portfolio manager said.

Restrained production among major oil producers and the “greater impetus” to maintain stability ahead of the widely-anticipated initial public offering of Saudi Aramco will support prices further this year, said Yoon Chou Chong, head of Asian equities at Natixis Asset Management.

“We’ve done a lot through the exporters, tech and we’re still happy with them. (But) I think this might be the year for the return of the commodities, the oil,” Chong told CNBC. He named commodities as a top trade for 2018.

Meanwhile, fuel prices have seen twice upward adjustments this year compared to one reduction. It is expected to go down further if some taxes on the price build-up are removed.

Currently a gallon of petrol is going for about GHc20.50 while a gallon of diesel is going for about GHc20.0 per gallon.

Since Ghana began exporting oil, the Annual Budgeting Funding Amount (ABFA) has received an amount of US$1.64 billion as at the end of December 2017 since oil production began in April 2011, the Petroleum Holding Fund and Ghana Petroleum Funds Semi-Annual Report indicates.

Oil prices opened the year 2018 above $60 a barrel the strongest start to a calendar year since 2014. Both crude oil benchmarks — the U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) and globally traded Brent — rose amid production cuts led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and anti-government protests in Iran.

Oil prices last hit $80 per barrel in November 2014. Both WTI and Brent collapsed from above $100 per barrel in June 2014 to around $30 a barrel in January 2016 due to weak demand, a strong dollar and booming U.S. shale production.