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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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Goldman: OPEC Will Talk Oil Prices Down If Brent Tops $70

OPEC doesn’t want central banks around the world the start responding to inflationary pressure from oil prices above $70 a barrel, nor do they want U.S. shale investments to rise, so the cartel will try to talk oil prices down if Brent exceeds $70 per barrel in the coming days, according to Goldman Sachs.

At 09:32 a.m. on Wednesday, Brent Crude was up 0.41 percent at $69.10, just shy of the $70-a-barrel mark, after the American Petroleum Institute (API) reported a staggeringly large draw of 11.19 million barrels of United States crude oil inventories for the week ending January 5, marking six large draws in as many weeks. Robust global oil demand growth is also supporting oil prices, as well as geopolitical concerns out of the Middle East, most notably Iran.

OPEC would otherwise enjoy $70 oil, but central banks could intervene to temper inflation from the higher oil prices, and U.S. shale would grow more at that level, Jeff Currie, Goldman Sachs’ head of commodities research, said in a Bloomberg television interview on Wednesday.

“OPEC members do not want to see that,” Currie said.

“In general we’ll probably see more noise and rhetoric if prices trade above $70 a barrel in the coming days to push this market back down to lower levels,” he added. Related: Is An Oil Price Correction Overdue?

Iran, Iraq, and Nigeria have already expressed concern that oil prices this high would give more incentive to rival oil producers outside of the production cut pact, most of all U.S. shale, to ramp up production faster than expected.

Brent at above $70 a barrel “will trigger some increased discussion within OPEC,” Olivier Jakob, managing director at PetroMatrix, told Reuters.

According to Citigroup, this year many wildcards could push oil prices up to $80, and those wildcards include war, tensions in the Middle East, U.S. President Donald Trump, and North Korea.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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  • John Kocktoast on January 10 2018 said:
    Looks like we know who is trying to go short. Go short then release some hard to verify news, brilliant.
  • Mamdouh G Salameh on January 10 2018 said:
    As much as OPEC was not able to talk up the oil price between July 2014 and January 2017 without being forced to cut production, they will not be able to talk down the oil prices without cancelling their production cut agreement.

    OPEC members particularly Saudi Arabia would be happy to see the oil price rise far beyond $70 a barrel. With positive market fundamentals and with the oil market approaching re-balancing, OPEC members will not be much worried about projected rises in US shale oil production. They believe there is place in the market for both OPEC and US shale oil.

    And why should Central banks be worried about inflationary pressure from oil prices above $70 a barrel when they have not expressed such worries when the oil price was hovering around $110-$120 a barrel. Central banks were hardly audible when the steep decline in oil prices since July 2014 was inflicting very heavy damage on the global economy.

    A fair oil price, in my opinion, should range from $100-$130 a barrel. Such a price will enable oil producers to invest heavily in expanding oil production capacity, enhance global investments and prevent an incoming global oil supply deficit.

    Dr Mamdouh G Salameh
    International Oil Economist
    Visiting Professor of Energy Economics at ESCP Europe Business School, London
  • Jesus Rondon on January 10 2018 said:
    I agree with mister Mamdouh, " A fair oil price, in my opinion, should range from $100-$130 a barrel. Such a price will enable oil producers to invest heavily in expanding oil production capacity, enhance global investments and prevent an incoming global oil supply deficit". OPEC members most support the oil price $100-$130 in orden to the increase the invest in explorations, oil production and oil delivery.
  • petergrt on January 11 2018 said:
    All this talk about 'fair price' makes me wonder why not not $10, or $7, or $27 . . . .???

    The fact of the matter is that were it not for OPEC colluding with the Russians to control the market, and if pricing were left to the open market, the price would be about $30, at which most producers are still making a bit of profit.

    The US should penalize all participants in the price fixing scheme - it is simple an antitrust legal matter, against which the US and most Western contrives have laws.

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