If all members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries honor the deal reached in Vienna on Nov. 30 to cut output, any ensuing price gain and drop in inventories could be quickly reversed by rising non-OPEC production.
“In the medium term, we can expect tighter market balances but for a substantial price recovery to take place, significant demand growth will be required to draw down high inventories of crude and products,” said Shakil Begg, head of Thomson Reuters Oil Research and Forecasts.
The 29 analysts and economists polled by Reuters forecast Brent crude futures will average $44.69 a barrel in 2016 and $57.01 in 2017, against $44.78 and $57.08 for the same periods in the previous survey about a month ago.
Brent has averaged about $44.50 per barrel so far this year.
“This is a short-duration cut, targeting excess inventories and not high oil prices, which would instead unleash a sharp production response both in the U.S. and in the rest of the world,” U.S. investment bank Goldman Sachs said in a note.
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