Influence of Libyan developments on oil prices - analysts' views

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

Oil prices on world markets demonstrate growth against the backdrop of renewed concerns regarding Libyan supplies.

The previous day, expectations for the end of the war in Libya led to price drops of North Sea Brent oil, future contracts for which, as a result of trades on the London Stock Exchange, decreased by $0.26 to $108.36 per barrel.

After fighting with Libyan rebels resumed, oil quotes quickly rose.
Western analysts views about the impact of further Libyan developments on oil prices differ.

Analysts of a leading British economic studies consulting company, Capital Economics, believe that as the crisis in Libya weakens, oil prices will fall.

A shift of power in the country, according to the British analysts, will eventually lead to a drop in the price of Brent-oil by around $10 per barrel.

"Any new Libyan government will be able to count on both financial and technical support from the West and the Persian Gulf countries, as well as the rapid return of foreign oil companies", the Capital Economics analysts' reports say.

In addition, according to the British analysts, due to the lack of a great number of reports on significant damage to the oil infrastructure in Libya, the country's oil production will return to pre-crisis levels in several months.

According to the British analysts' reports, since the start of the civil war in mid-February, oil production in Libya has been reduced from 1.585 million barrels per day to 100,000 barrels per day. This decrease was compensated by a growth of supplies by other OPEC members.

According to Capital Economics analysts, Brent price, as the reduction of the unrest risk premium in the Middle East, will fall to below $100 a barrel within a few weeks, and perhaps a few days. By 2012, the price will drop to $85 per barrel, according to British analysts.

According to analysts of one of the largest U.S. banks, JP Morgan, there are still significant risks for supplies and the world economy. Brent-oil will trade in the range of $100-$120 per barrel, until late 2012.

"The limited resistance of Libyan rebels could herald a rapid completion of the civil war, thus laying the potential for resuming exporting oil export from Libya by late 2011", JP Morgan analysts' report says.

Along with expectations for increased supplies, JP Morgan analysts lowered their forecasts for world economic growth, which implies a decline in world oil demand by 500,000 barrels per day in 2011.

The average Brent price is forecasted at $115 per barrel in 2012, according to U.S. analysts.

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