Oil price to average US$85 for next 12 months: survey
The North American benchmark crude price fell to as low as US$64 per barrel on March 20
The price of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) (CL=F) crude will average US$85 per barrel for the next 12 months, according to a recent survey of Canadian oil and gas industry executives conducted by Raymond James.
Oil prices have slumped in recent weeks, largely due to market jitters about the health of the global banking sector following the collapse of two U.S. regional lenders and the takeover of Credit Suisse by rival UBS. The North American benchmark crude price fell to as low as US$64 per barrel on March 20, but has since recovered to about US$74.
Raymond James says it collected responses from executives at 48 Canadian exploration and production companies between March 15 and 24. Analyst Jeremy McCrea notes the US$85 per barrel prediction for the next year represents a 21 per cent increase from the 12-month strip price of US$70 when the survey was conducted.
"When we see such a difference between executive views and the strip, we infer that executives may be seeing supply limitations (i.e, inability to bring on more supply than what the financial market perceives [rigs, technical personnel, shareholder desire, etc.])," he wrote in a research note to clients.
McCrea says the survey reflects a "healthy operating outlook," with executives calling for inflation to ease, M&A on the horizon, and a preference to reward shareholders versus spending on growth.
The survey also asked: "What is a long-term sustainable WTI price for your company to be profitable?" The average response was US$56 per barrel.
Jeff Lagerquist is a senior reporter at Yahoo Finance Canada. Follow him on Twitter @jefflagerquist.
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