The oil price is expected to push above US$60 per barrel due to both (geo)political reasons (in particular tensions in e.g. Venezuela and Libya, along with US sanctions in other countries like Iran), as well as to a convergence of interests between OPEC and Russia, both of which have declared their intention to limit production levels. However, with a rising US production this is not necessarily sustainable on the long run. Saudi Arabia has indeed a short-term interest to push up the oil price in order to better valorize Saudi Aramco’s possible partial privatization.
In the long run however, the Kingdom, with the world largest low-cost oil reserves and aware of the importance of energy transition worldwide and the risk of sitting on stranded reserves, will have a clear interest to fight for market shares and not for price. Oil prices are hence expected to remain between US$50 and US$80 per barrel until 2040. For short periods of time, the price may spike in any direction, responding to short term economic, financial and/or political events, rather than fundamental long-term market realities. The current oil price of US$60-70/b already incorporates in our opinion a geopolitical risk premium of some US$10-20/b.
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According to the Short-Term Energy Outlook released by the US Energy Information Administration, crude oil and gas production in the United States continued to increase in 2019 and should follow an upward trend until 2021.
The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) expects 42 GW of new power capacity to be installed and commissioned in 2020. Most of the new capacities would be renewable (76% of the total, i.e. nearly 32 GW), of which 18.5 GW would come from wind (44%) and 13.5 GW (32%) from solar. The remainder would consist of gas-fired power capacities (9.3 GW, i.e. 22%) and from other energy sources (hydropower and battery storage, 730 MW, 2%).
According to forecasts from the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD), Norway’s crude oil production will rise from 1.41 mb/d in 2019 to 1.76 mb/d in 2020 and 2.02 mbd/d in 2024 (+44%), as major oilfields Sverdrup and Castberg will progressively enter production. Total liquids production should increase by more than 34% between 2019 (1.74 mboe/d) and 2024 (2.33 mb/d). Norway’s natural gas output is expected to increase by 3% in 2020 and by 5% over the 2019-2024 period.
Kuwait expects to resume crude oil production from the Neutral Zone shared with Saudi Arabia at the end of 2020 and to reach a production level of 250,000 bbl/d. In 2019, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia signed an agreement to end a 5-year dispute over shared resources, allowing a restart of production at the Khafji and Wafra fields, which used to produce 500,000 bbl/d before production was suspended. The agreement will also allow Kuwait to develop its share of the Dorra gas field.
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