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Oil hits record of unpredictability


photo: Alexei Merinov

In London North sea Brent crude oil March 8, slowly but surely risen to $41 per barrel. And although then a little backwards, still this high since December of last year.

Why? Most of the factors clearly played down. And first of all a massive offensive of Iranian oil. 29 loaded supertankers. The first one was being unloaded in Spain. In the coming days on the Iberian Peninsula and France is suitable even three. Most of the others waiting in China. And each of them carries up to 1 million barrels. Of course, the triumphant return of the Persian fuel has been wagered on the world market last summer when it became clear that the international sanctions against Teheran by the beginning of this year, will be removed. In the sense that Iran has been able to sell its surplus oil and the price it got an extra push to fall.

However, the Iranian factor is still not the most important. It is known that the main culprit of the collapse of prices over the past year and a half almost three times (at the beginning of the summer of 2014 a barrel cost $115) was Saudi Arabia, which, first, has increased production, and second, began to give significant discounts to consumers.

As a result, the supply of oil is still significantly higher than (up to 2 million barrels per day) demand. Western media claim that the fuel in the main hub of Europe — the port of Rotterdam — months are unbalanced supertankers. And not with Iranian oil.

However, the quotations went up. But for how long?

The majority of respondents «MK» experts believe that the oil rally will not last long. For example, Bogdan Zvarich, the leading analyst of group of companies «Finam» reminds (see MK from 4 March) that the key factor is the balance of supply and demand, how spoke about the fact that speculators too overdone, drove to mid-January oil is up to $27. And so the natural rebound in the near future will bring black gold to is quite comfortable for the Russian budget $50 per barrel. However, the chances for a new wave of price declines is evident.

In addition, analysts of the oil market believe that the recent rise in oil prices due to the exchange traders, the current situation (falling profits) made in the mass order to close the so-called «short» positions. But how long they will do so is unknown. Probably not for long. Then the prices will go down again.

By the way, the rating Agency Fitch released on March 7 of the next forecast of development of world economy for the next three years. In his estimation, the average oil price will not exceed in 2016 for $35. And only next year — $45 per barrel. As a result, Russian GDP will continue to fall this year — minus 1.5%.

But interestingly, the authoritative worldwide, the Agency claims that it comes to only $35, and the LSE in response raises quotes.

So who is the best forecaster?

To answer this question we must look at the factors that play in favor of black gold.

First: American research Agency reported that the number of shale wells fell to the level of six years ago. In other words, the excess of supply over demand, especially in the US, will quickly decrease.

By the way, this was achieved by Saudi Arabia. Not a coincidence that Riyadh had already announced the price increase in April half a dollar. But it’s still.

However, the question is why Washington still has not hit the hands of oil sheikhs. Because they are political allies. That’s it. Therefore their overall objective in the middle East — the overthrow of the regime of Bashir Assad. Then we could implement the overall goal of the United States, Saudi Arabia and Qatar — to lay a gas pipeline from the last country through Syria to Turkey, then to Europe. Thereby cutting off a considerable flow of Russian gas export. But these plans failed. So, it’s time to raise prices, and that the American shale industry disappears.

The second factor. Maybe soon it will be a major rally in oil. According to various forecasts, 17 or 20 March, whether in the Qatari capital of Doha, whether in Moscow may take place oil the summit of the countries-members of OPEC and Russia. The main issue is to stabilize production at the level of January of this year. The original agreement between Russia, the Saudis and Qatar have been achieved. It has supported Venezuela and Nigeria. Not averse to consider these conditions and Tehran. A final agreement on limiting the growth of production from Russian oil companies has made Vladimir Putin. If the decision is upheld by the vast majority of oil-producing countries, it is a step in the direction of increasing prices will be confident enough. And if it will be possible and will reduce the prey, the more so.

P. S. While number was imposed, the oil quotations on the London stock exchange turned back. The point of $41 per barrel was, as already mentioned, is overcome, but not for long. Then began the fall in prices. By the end of the session for Brent crude gave even below $40 per barrel.

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