A Review of the Nigerian Energy Industry

Brent falls more than $1 to under $68

Morgan Stanley08 December 2014, News Wires – Brent crude oil fell more than a dollar to below $68 a barrel on Monday, just above five-and-a-half year lows, after Morgan Stanley cut its forecasts, saying oversupply would peak next year after OPEC decided not to cut output.

“Without OPEC intervention, markets risk becoming unbalanced, with peak oversupply likely in the second quarter of 2015,” Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Longson said.

In a report dated 5 December, the investment bank cut its average 2015 Brent base case outlook by $28 to $70 per barrel and for 2016, by $14 to $88 a barrel.

Brent crude for January was down $1.42 at $67.65 a barrel by 1000 GMT, near last week’s trough of $67.53, which was its weakest since October 2009.

US crude was down $1.05 at $64.79 a barrel. The US contract, also known as West Texas Intermediate, touched $63.72 last week, its lowest since July 2009.

At a meeting last month, top oil exporter Saudi Arabia resisted calls from poorer members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries to reduce production, fuelling a further slide in prices, which have lost more than 40% since June.

“Brent is moving into the $60 to $70 trading range,” said Olivier Jakob, oil analyst at Petromatrix in Zug, Switzerland.

“There is nothing really providing strong support for crude oil right now,” he added.

Mixed Chinese trade data further unsettled prices.

China’s imports shrank unexpectedly in November, falling 6.7%, while export growth slowed, fuelling concerns the world’s second-largest economy could be facing a sharp slowdown.

China’s crude oil imports rose 9% in November from October to 6.18 million barrels per day, suggesting the country may be boosting its reserves.

“If one looks at the overall economic indicators, they are all showing a picture of China which is stagnating rather than having strong growth,” said Jakob.

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