Oil prices: growth contrary to forecast

Azerbaijan, Baku, May 23 / Trend , A. Badalova/ 

Oil prices on world markets continue to fluctuate. But in spite of the alternation of the fall and growth, trend of quotations is obvious: they continue to go up at a small pace. Earlier this week prices reached $60 per barrel, all time high over the past six months. If this trend will continue further, it can be assumed that the prices could easily reach $70 per barrel by summer.

What is the reason behind positive trend of prices? If to believe estimations, oil consumption all over the world, which is the main factor of influence on its stock price, this year will fall to the all time high for the recent years. According to the latest projections by the International Energy Agency (IEA), world oil demand will decline 2.6 million barrels a day this year up to 83.2 million barrels per day, which is 0.2 million barrels below the volume estimated by the IEA in the previous month.

Pessimistic forecasts regarding oil demand this year were made not only to the IEA. According to EIA estimation, world oil demand will fall to 1.77 million barrels this year up to 83.67 million barrels a day. Such estimations were made on the basis of assessments of world economic situation. While there are some signs of economic stabilization, a full recovery will come not earlier than 2010.

However experts do not expect oil prices to rise further. Former OPEC Secretary General Adnan Shihab-Eldin believes that oil prices will reach $75 per barrel on the backdrop of stabilization of economy.

Fast and significant recovery of world economy remains major hope of experts regarding further rise in prices.

Analysts one of the largest U.S. bank JPMorgan expect improved economic indicators and start of second period of recovery of world economy, which has a positive impact on the dynamics of oil prices. In this regard, the bank has increased its oil price forecasts for 2009 and 2010.

Despite a slight weakening in oil demand in September and October, which will be linked to seasonal factors, overall demand may cause a threat of significant shortfall in supply for the fourth quarter of this year, JPMorgan analysts believe.

Thus, despite the pessimistic prediction, the rise in oil prices points to the fact that other factors persist on the market today. Projections made by the IEA, as well as information on the real OPEC production, released last week led to a natural but short-term drop in prices.

OPEC production was 25.81 million barrels a day in April, an increase of 965 thousand barrels per day from the quota set by cartel, which amounts to 24.845 million barrels a day at present.

JPMorgan analysts say that the latest official data on the production in Saudi Arabia is much higher than published by the IEA.

According to bank's analysts, jump of prices from 45 to possible 65 dollars a barrel leaves the member countries of OPEC quite satisfied which excludes likelihood of reducing of oil production quotas by the cartel at a meeting to be held in Vienna on May 28.

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