SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Crude oil prices are expected to remain at $40-60/bbl in 2018 despite the extension of OPEC-led production cuts through the end of the year, Moody's Investors Service said on Tuesday.
“Higher prices within or above that range will see supply grow as countries lessen their compliance with production quotas and US shale production continues to increase,” the ratings firm said in a statement.
Meanwhile, ample supplies of US natural gas will constrain oil prices, even while demand grows, it said.
"Political unrest in the Middle East, alongside assumptions of OPEC extending its agreement to cut production, helped to bolster oil prices in late 2017," said Terry Marshall, a Moody's senior vice president.
"Yet even with these factors offering a boost, prices will likely remain range-bound, and possibly volatile, on a combination of increasing US shale production, reduced but still significant global supplies, and potential non-compliance with agreed production cuts - especially if demand growth is more tepid,” Marshall said.
Global demand for oil will continue to grow through to 2040, with light vehicle oil demand growth peaking by 2030, more because of steadily increasing fuel efficiency for light passenger vehicles than the rise of electric vehicles, according to Moody’s.
“Major integrated oil firms will invest in renewables and alternative-energy technologies in 2018, and some will continue their transition toward natural gas, with its more favourable carbon footprint and good long-term demand prospects,” it added.