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Easing stimulus, oversupply to weigh on oil next year: Reuters poll

An oil export terminal is seen in the town of Brega, February 25, 2011. REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic
An oil export terminal is seen in the town of Brega, February 25, 2011. REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic

By Ratul Ray Chaudhuri and Arpan Varghese

(Reuters) - Middle Eastern unrest is seen putting a floor under oil prices this year, while increasing supply and a stronger dollar driven by an expected easing of U.S. stimulus will push prices lower in 2014, a Reuters poll showed.

The 30-analyst August poll forecast Brent crude oil averaging $107.20 per barrel in 2013, below the $108.02 average so far this year. The international benchmark averaged $111.70 last year.

Brent will average $104.90 a barrel in 2014 and $102.70 in 2015, the monthly poll showed.

"Crude oil prices are likely to decline over the coming years due to higher crude oil production, both from the OPEC and non-OPEC as well as gradual withdrawal of quantitative easing in the United States," CRISIL Research Director Rahul Prithiani said.

Reuters foreign exchange surveys showed the U.S. dollar would be stronger against other major currencies in a year from now. A strong U.S. unit makes dollar-denominated commodities such as Brent more expensive for holders of other currencies, weakening demand and weighing on prices.

Analyst Chris Tevere of GAIN Capital said if a reduction of stimulus from the U.S. Federal Reserve began to weigh on growth, it could have a downward effect on oil prices in 2014.

Most analysts expect the recent premium in oil prices over tensions in the Middle East will be transitory, petering out later in the year.

"We don´t believe that we will (be) talking about supply disruptions in Egypt, Iraq and Libya at the end of the year," LBBW analyst Frank Klumpp said.

U.S. crude, or West Texas Intermediate (WTI), is expected to average $97.80 a barrel this year and $98.80 in 2014, according to the poll.

Brent is expected to hold a premium of $9.40 per barrel on average over U.S. crude in 2013, the poll showed, lower than the $10.92 closing average seen so far this year. The spread is expected to average $6.20 in 2014.

Fifteen of 30 analysts see Brent above $107, the median forecast for 2013, while 14 of 28 analysts see WTI above $97.8, the median for this year.

BNP Paribas, Bernstein, CIBC World Markets, Goldman Sachs and Raiffeisen Bank International had the highest Brent forecast of $110.00 for 2013.

Banco BPI had the highest WTI forecast of $103.00 for 2013. Raymond James had the lowest forecasts - $102.75 for Brent and $90.75 for WTI for 2013.

(Editing by Dale Hudson)

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