We have seen strong moves higher in the key crude oil benchmarks-WTI, and Brent, in the last several months. This was initiated by the advent of positive news on the Covid front that the vaccines in development were extremely efficacious, promising an endpoint to the spread of the virus. This upward trend in crude was boosted by the gradual decline in U.S. shale production and inventories over the same period.
Finally, the move in early January, by OPEC+ to restrain output into mid-2021, and an extra “gift” from Saudi Arabia to remove another 1-million BOPD from the market, provided the impetus for WTI to rise firmly into the $50s. In this article, we will discuss key reasons that we think the upward trend for crude will continue this year. Why
Demand will return
In spite of the current lockdowns which inhibit demand, the trend is higher. As implementation of the vaccines increases the pool of the virus-immune population, business activity will resume creating demand for refined petroleum products. The graph below shows the EIA’s, Energy Information Agency, forecast of the trend for refined products over the next couple of years.
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Source: Oil Price