Friday, November 14, 2014

Oil may drop to $50 a barrel

Crude futures prices may continue to free fall even with the 30% drop since June. The price of West Texas Intermediate for December is now hovering at the $76 a barrel level, just shy of the $75 target the team at Goldman Sachs (GS) is forecasting for 2015. While Brent for December is at $79 a barrel, the lowest since 2010 and below Goldman’s $85 a barrel target.

These prices may look good to some speculators, however Jonathan Hoenig of says forget about it. “Why go long assets in a bear market? It’s a bad move, it's a low probability bet in my book.”

Hoeing predicts the bear market in crude will continue with prices potentially falling as low as $50 a barrel, in part because the global economy is slowing, pushing supply levels higher.

This week the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) confirmed what the market is telling us by cutting its 2015 forecast for Brent crude to $83 a barrel. In a report, the EIA said, “There is significant uncertainty over the crude oil price forecast because of the range of potential supply responses from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), particularly Saudi Arabia, and U.S. tight oil producers to the new lower oil price environment.” OPEC is set to meet on November 27th in Vienna, Austria.

The other half of the energy story and also a big influence on prices, says Hoenig, is the advancement in the U.S. energy industry, and the production of great oil companies particularly in the United States. "We like to rail against fossil fuel companies, but it is their advancements in oil extraction and fracking that have brought oil and natural prices to historic lows.”  

The EIA expects Henry Hub natural gas spot price to average $3.97/million British thermal units this winter, lower than the $4.53/M BTUs last winter. The United States Natural Gas ETF (UNG), which closely tracks the natural gas market, has advanced 22% over the past 12 months.

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