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Oil prices will surge to $100 this year, Goldman Sachs warns

Jan 18, 2022, 1:33 PM | Updated: Jun 8, 2022, 3:21 pm
Storage tanks at the BP Plc Cherry Point Refinery near Blaine, Washington, U.S., on Friday, Nov. 19...
Storage tanks at the BP Plc Cherry Point Refinery near Blaine, Washington, U.S., on Friday, Nov. 19, 2021. Total U.S. oil stockpiles, including commercial inventories of crude and refined products, fell by the most in 11 weeks, dropping by 12.1 million barrels a recent U.S. Energy Information Administration report showed. Photographer: James MacDonald/Bloomberg via Getty Images

(CNN) — Goldman Sachs is now calling for oil prices to hit $100 a barrel later this year and continue rising in 2023, signaling higher prices at the pump are on the way.

In a Monday evening report to clients, the Wall Street bank backed up its bullish call by citing “robust fundamentals” in the oil market, a “surprisingly large” supply deficit and diminishing firepower from OPEC and its allies. Goldman Sachs also pointed to diminished appetite to invest in oil due to the energy transition.

By summer, the bank expects oil inventories in advanced economies will sink to their lowest level since 2000.

That’s why Goldman now expects Brent crude, the world benchmark, will hit $100 a barrel in the third quarter of this year, up from the bank’s prior call for $80. Goldman sees Brent hitting $105 a barrel next year, up from a previous forecast of $85.

“Importantly, we are not forecasting Brent trading above $100/bbl on an argument of running out of oil as the shale resources is still large and elastic,” Goldman Sachs strategists wrote.

However, Goldman Sachs said shale oil will “likely require ever rising oil prices given the reluctance to invest in oil during the energy transition” and the gradual depletion of shale capacity over time.

Oil prices rose on Tuesday to fresh seven-year highs, dealing a blow to the Biden administration’s efforts to contain prices at the pump.

US crude jumped 1.9% to finish at $85.43 a barrel, the highest close since October 13, 2014.

Brent crude, the world benchmark, gained 1.2% to $87.51 a barrel. It’s the first time Brent has finished above $87 since October 2014.

The latest milestones mean the oil market has completely recovered from both the US-led intervention into energy markets just before Thanksgiving Day and the scare delivered by the Omicron variant. Both of those forces drove energy prices lower in November and early December.

In the span of just seven weeks, US crude has rallied 30% from its December 1 low of $65.57 a barrel.

The call from Goldman Sachs stands in stark contrast with the US Energy Information Administration, which recently said Brent will average $75 a barrel this year and $68 in 2023. Citigroup recently predicted a “radical drop” in energy prices that drives Brent to $54 a barrel by the end of 2023.

In his annual letter to shareholders on Tuesday, BlackRock CEO Larry Fink urged governments and companies to ensure access to “reliable and affordable” energy.

“This is the only way we will create a green economy that is fair and just and avoid societal discord,” he wrote. Fink added that any plan that only focuses on limiting supply and doesn’t address demand for fossil fuels “will drive up energy prices for those who can least afford it, resulting in greater polarization around climate change and eroding progress.

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Oil prices will surge to $100 this year, Goldman Sachs warns