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Tsvetana Paraskova

Tsvetana Paraskova

Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews. 

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Barclays: Reopening Economies Drive Oil Demand Higher

Global oil demand is recovering with major economies reopening amid a cautious supply approach from OPEC+ and restraint in U.S. shale, Barclays said on Friday.

Despite the possibility of a return of Iranian oil supply and the resurgence of COVID in parts of Asia, global oil demand is “healing” and oil inventories are set to normalize over the next two to three months, the UK bank said in a note on Friday carried by Reuters.

Barclays expects the global market to be in a deficit of around 1.5 million barrels per day (bpd) in the second half of this year.  

“Extended mobility restrictions in the region [Asia] might slow the demand recovery somewhat, but seem unlikely to stall it for a sustained period, given largely positive results of vaccination programs worldwide,” analysts at Barclays noted.

The bank sees Brent Crude prices averaging $66 per barrel in 2021, while WTI Crude is set to average $62 a barrel this year.

Those price forecasts were very close to the actual prompt prices early on Friday, when WTI Crude traded up by 1.5 percent to just above $63, and Brent Crude was also up more than 1 percent at $66.00 as of 7:42 a.m. EDT, as the U.S. dollar was falling.

Last month, Goldman Sachs said that it expects to see “the biggest jump in oil demand ever” over the next six months. Goldman Sachs analysts see oil demand jumping by 5.2 million bpd over the next six months.

Despite the recent bearish concerns surrounding India’s COVID crisis, investment banks, as well as OPEC and the International Energy Agency (IEA), are optimistic that global oil demand is set for a strong rise in the second half of this year.

The excess oil inventories of the past year have been all but depleted, the IEA said earlier this month, noting that “The widening supply and demand gap paves the way for a further easing of OPEC+ supply cuts or even sharper stock draws.”  

Barclays acknowledges that a return of Iranian oil supply could lead to OPEC+ slowing the pace of easing the cuts to prevent oil prices from slumping too much.  

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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  • Mamdouh Salameh on May 21 2021 said:
    The surge of both global oil demand and oil prices this year will be underpinned by a global economy returning to normalcy, evaporation of the glut in the global oil market, insatiable demand by China and brilliant stabilizing of the global oil market by OPEC+.

    In view of the above, I have never wavered from projecting that Brent crude will hit $70-$80 a barrel in the third quarter of this year and average $65 or slightly higher for the year with global oil demand returning to pre-pandemic level of 101.0 million barrels a day (mbd) by the middle of this year.

    The bullish influences in the market far outweigh the bearish COVID crisis in India and the negotiations about Iran’s nuclear deal.

    We may never see a lifting of US sanctions on Iran even by 2023 or ever. The reason is that the positions of the United States and Iran are irreconcilable.

    Dr Mamdouh G Salameh
    International Oil Economist
    Visiting Professor of Energy Economics at ESCP Europe Business School, London
  • George Doolittle on May 22 2021 said:
    The only oil "for sale"(in US Dollars that can be exported from a non-demand State) is from the United States at about 3-5 million barrels of oil per day or about equal to what the United States imports from Canada of same said oil per day.

    There simply isn't enough US Dollar substitutes at the moment to drive prices higher for "strictly oil." In the alternative are stupendous quantities of refined product and natural gas which for the foreseeable future have replaced oil as the "global go to pricing mechanism For All the Things."

    All that is left therefore is "War, so defined." No shortage of that at the moment. Make no mistake within the USA is a truly stupendous energy glut however so yes, gasoline on or about$3.00 us dollars per gallon at retail but that actually is an exceptionally low price and looks set to head lower and perhaps very much so in the immediate term (6-12 weeks.)

    First is Canada flooding the USA with crude stock as reason one and second is gulf of Mexico coming back on line after 2 decades of being "on the sidelines"(not in the onshore shale game.)

    There are obviously other short term reasons to be very very very bearish on oil at the moment as well but certainly the odd "pandemic over!" response by the US Federal Government strikes me anyways as a desperation price support move but again..."for now."

    Having said that one cannot exclude the possibility of a permanent impairment to the oil price as happened with Whale oil in North America then later coal and now arguably natural gas the last of which has been the global go to fuel going on a decade now let alone the USA go to fuel for same said time frame.

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