Higher oil prices
Oil prices are most likely to exceed $130 per barrel (dpb) and even reach $140 before the end of the year, according to latest forecast from Centre for Global Energy
The London-based centre predicted in its reference case that the price of dated North Sea benchmark crude will continue to rise to an average of 128.4 dpb in the third quarter and 131.5 dpb in the final three months of 2011.
Even with a slight downward revision of world demand, it suggested that OPEC's slow response to the need for additional oil caused by the civil war in Libya meant a further tightening of an already tight market and a fall in the global stock cover.
In the case for a higher price scenario, the report said OPEC's response could be even slower and was a real possibility if Saudi Arabia does not increase production fast enough, while Libyan output takes longer to recover, with the consequence of a steeper rise reaching an average of 140 dpb by the fourth quarter of the year.
The forecasts compare with Brent crude averaging 106 dpb in the first three months of the year, while CGES was predicting last October that 2011's average for the year would be 79.7 dpb.
Half way through April, it suggested that there could be a marginally lower price scenario if the current 120 dpb has an even more pronounced effect causing an economic slowdown slowdown, meaning that Dated Brent could stay flat before falling to an average of 115 dpb by the end of 2001.