New York: Hedge fund manager Pierre Andurand said he expects crude oil prices to reach $60 (Dh220) a barrel over the next three months and $70 next year as Saudi Arabia agrees to cut production and helps rebalance the market.
Saudi Arabia recognises “a prolonged period of low prices is endangering longer term supplies,” Andurand, who foresaw oil’s plunge in 2014, said in an investor note. With reduced supply, the kingdom hopes oil prices will rise sooner, thus avoiding a future supply shortfall amid current global cuts in capital spending, he wrote.
“By forcing the market into a quicker rebalancing and pushing oil prices higher, they hope to avoid a large supply gap down the road,” Andurand said.
Oil prices have jumped above $50 a barrel after the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries met in Algiers in September and agreed to cut oil production to a range of 32.5 million to 33 million barrels a day.
“The Saudis want higher oil prices now and they will accommodate to make that happen,” Andurand wrote.
This week, Russia said it is willing to participate in Opec’s decision to cap oil supplies. Andurand predicts non-Opec crude supply, outside of the US, will decline by 600,000 barrels a day in 2016 and by 300,000 in 2017. Within Opec, Libya could be a “bearish wild card” if it were to increase output significantly.
The founder of London-based Andurand Capital Management, which manages $1.4 billion, also said lower crude prices have hurt Saudi Arabia’s economy. He said, “the removal of subsidies and tax increases have been widely unpopular” and that “$65 per barrel would be needed to stop drawing on foreign exchange reserves.”
If prices top $60 a barrel, US production could grow by up to 200,000 barrels a day, he said. However, prices would need to be higher for a prolonged period before shale producers would ramp up activity.
Andurand’s fund gained 2.6 per cent in September, and is up 11.1 per cent so far this year, the letter showed. Hedge funds gained 0.2 per cent last month and 2.9 per cent for the year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Rob White, a spokesman for Andurand Capital, declined to comment on the investor letter.
Andurand also sees global inventories falling 1 million barrels a day in 2017. Global demand growth is expected to reach 1.4 million barrels a day in 2016 and 1.2 million in 2017.