Jan 28, 2022 - Economy

Crude oil prices could hit $100 a barrel

Data: FactSet; Chart: Axios Visuals
Data: FactSet; Chart: Axios Visuals

Prices for crude oil have surged. Analysts now say global prices could hit $100 a barrel, with American benchmarks breaching $90.

Why it matters: The rise in oil prices is another reason inflation is set to stick around for a while.

The big picture: Since collapsing amid the worst of the COVID crisis, prices for oil have rebounded sharply. Here's why...

  • Demand is back. Global consumption is forecast to recover completely from the pandemic in 2022. (IEA)
  • OPEC and Russia have been relatively slow in boosting supplies, helping to keep prices up. (NYT)
  • Geopolitical risk has risen, especially given there's a chance that Russia — the world's third-largest producer — invades Ukraine and finds itself subject to sanctions. (Brookings)

What they're saying:

  • Goldman Sachs: "Robust fundamentals have reversed last year’s oil price melt-down, with the market remaining in a surprisingly large deficit."
  • Morgan Stanley: "We estimate that the oil market is heading for simultaneously low inventories, low spare capacity and still low investment — a triple deficit."
  • JPMorgan: "Any disruptions to oil flows from Russia in a context of low spare capacity in other regions could easily send oil prices to $120."

What's next: On Feb. 2, OPEC and Russia will meet and decide whether to boost production in order to ease pricing pressure. Don't hold your breath.

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