Goldman Sachs hikes oil price outlook, expects high compliance for oil output cuts

Investment bank Goldman Sachs Friday revised its crude oil price forecast for the second quarter of 2017 on the back of a decision byOPEC members and other countries to cut production amid growing demand from consumers.

Goldman Sachs has upped its oil price outlook for the second quarter of 2017 to $57.50 a barrel from $55 a barrel for U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude. It also raised its price forecast for international benchmark Brent crude to $59 a barrel from $56.50 a barrel.

The investment bank’s December outlook for U.S. crude however remains at $50 a barrel as a potential ramp up in oil production from Libya and a stronger dollar limit the near-term upside.

As for the much hyped production cuts by OPEC and major non-OPEC producers, there will be “little evidence” of the cuts until mid to late January, when they will be the “next catalyst for the next large move in prices”.

A pump jack operates at a well site leased by Devon Energy Production Co. near Guthrie, Oklahoma.

Nick Oxford | Reuters
A pump jack operates at a well site leased by Devon Energy Production Co. near Guthrie, Oklahoma.

“Ultimately,our work on Saudi Arabia’s fiscal balance suggests that the kingdom has a strong incentive to cut production to achieve a normalization of inventories,even if it requires a larger unilateral cut, consistent with comments last weekend by the energy minister. Given this incentive to cut and in light of the OPEC and non-OPEC cuts announced over the past two weeks, we are slightly raising the 1H17 production declines that we project from the participating producers,” the Goldman analysts wrote.

They expect 84 percent compliance to the announced collective cuts of 1.6 million barrels a day.

“Beyond H1 2017, we expect that the global market will remain balanced, with Brent prices between $55 per barrel and $60 per barrel, on higher production from low-cost producers, a greater shale supply response and the continued ramp up in legacy projects,” analysts from the house added.

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