Goldman raises oil price forecasts on ‘very bullish’ OPEC+ cuts

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Aerial view of Phillips 66 Company's Los Angeles Refinery in Carson, California

(Reuters) – Goldman Sachs has raised its oil price forecast for this year and 2023, as the U.S. bank expects the 2 million barrels per day (bpd) output cut agreed by OPEC+ producers to be “very bullish” for prices going forward.

OPEC+, which groups members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies including Russia, agreed its deepest cuts to production since the 2020 COVID pandemic at a meeting in Vienna on Wednesday.

If latest reduction in output by OPEC+ is sustained through December 2023, it would amount to $25 per barrel upside to their Brent forecast, with potential for price spikes even higher should inventories fully deplete, Goldman Sachs said in a note dated Wednesday.

Goldman Sachs raised its 2022 Brent price forecast to $104 per barrel from $99 per barrel and 2023 forecast to $110 per barrel from $108 per barrel.

The U.S. bank also raised its fourth quarter 2022 and first-quarter 2023 Brent price forecast by $10 per barrel to $110 and $115 per barrel, respectively.

Benchmark Brent crude was trading around $94 per barrel on Thursday, after gaining 1.7% in the previous session. [O/R]

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Such a large OPEC+ effective cut will likely warrant another response from the U.S. administration, and even a coordinated International Energy Agency SPR release, the bank noted.

“The oil market’s buffers (stocks and spare capacity) remain critically low, and higher prices remain the key viable, long-term solution to increased inventories in the short term and higher supply capacity medium term,” Goldman added.

Morgan Stanley on Wednesday also raised its oil price forecast for the first quarter of 2023, predicting tight supply going forward.

(Reporting by Brijesh Patel in Bengaluru; editing by David Evans)