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Investing Topics: Brent

Updated Outlook for Oil Prices

Although we became bullish on oil prices last summer when the commodity slipped into the $40s per barrel, our forecast for West Texas Intermediate (WTI) to average between $60 and $65 per barrel appears conservative—especially in an environment where involuntary supply disruptions and robust demand growth could result in short-term spikes to $80 per barrel. We now expect WTI to spend most of its time between $60 and $70 per barrel in 2018 and Brent to range between $65 and $75 per barrel.

The Oil Down-Cycle: Lessons from the Past

US oil prices would need to overshoot the levels supported by prevailing supply and demand conditions to prompt producers to idle rigs and reduce capital expenditures dramatically. Weak balance sheets and higher-cost asset bases will compel some operators to scale back.

This supply response in the US and elsewhere will signal that we’re near the bottom of the commodity cycle. The question investors must ask isn’t whether this will happen, but rather how long this process will take to occur.

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