market dynamics

Outlook for 2022 Projects Higher Oil Prices

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Recent volatility in oil trade has seen intraday price swings of several dollars amid intense cross currents. Covid-19 variants and government responses to halt the spread continue to delay demand recovery, adding to an expected supply surplus in the first half of 2022. Yet most price pundits see crude rising next year, particularly in the first half. They see potential for an immediate supply crunch from high natural gas prices prompting fuel switching. Further down the line, they warn of a crunch from structural underinvestment, or Opec-plus engineering. An overview of forecasts shows Brent at $76.89 per barrel and West Texas Intermediate (WTI) at $73.72 in 2022. Some see prices spiking in the first half of the year before easing as 2023 approaches, largely a function of demand recovery meeting Opec-plus unwillingness to add supply. While the consensus view is that prices will rise in 2022, the scale is varied. Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BAML) sees second-quarter Brent at $95, while the Energy Information Administration (EIA) sees the benchmark trading at roughly $71 during the same time period.

Oil Supply, Oil Prices
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