Brent oil prices are unlikely to breach the $100/bbl level this year, barring any significant geopolitical drivers, with OPEC+ potentially adding supply and Russian flows recovering by mid-2023, J.P.Morgan analysts said in a note on Feb. 17.
OPEC+, an alliance that includes members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and others including Russia, is unlikely to defend the $80 price floor and hence would not need to cut production quotas this year, according to the note.
The group could instead add 400,000 bbl/d to supply, it added.
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Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said on Feb. 16 the current OPEC+ deal to cut production targets by 2 MMbbl/d would be locked in until the end of the year.
With Russian output expected to see a full recovery by June and higher price levels preventing the U.S. from repurchasing to add to its strategic petroleum reserves, the supply-demand balance will likely tighten further, J.P.Morgan analysts said.
Global benchmark Brent crude futures were trading around $84 bbl/d on Feb. 17, on track for a weekly decline on bets that tighter U.S. monetary policy could crimp demand.
J.P.Morgan also maintained its estimate for top importer China's oil demand growth of 770,000 bbl/d.
China is expected to import a record amount of crude in 2023 due to increased demand for fuel, mainly as people travel more following the dismantling of COVID-19 curbs, analysts said.
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