The strange case of the summer oil market

Front-month Brent crude futures, the international benchmark for oil prices, were at $62.71 at 0630 GMT, 42 cents, or 0.7%, above Friday’s close, and U.S. WTI crude futures were at $53.85 per barrel, 59 cents, or 1.1%, above their last settlement. Prices fell by around 1% in the previous session and crude futures are down by some 20% from their 2019 peaks in late April, dragged lower by a widespread economic downturn that has started to impact oil consumption. Uncertainty remains around prospects for OPEC, and its allies, particularly Russia, extending an agreement to curb output that took effect at the beginning of the year. Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak on Monday said he couldn’t rule out a scenario in which oil falls to $30 a barrel if a global agreement wasn’t extended, according to Reuters. The excitement of many people in the production industry about much higher prices has taken a big hit. Not so long ago they were looking at a scenario of half a decade of low investment in new oil projects, and with the upcoming #IMO2020 legislation to cause havoc in the market, pushing prices again over $100 as people panic for supply in a market that would make many crudes worthless to refine. The culprits of this change in sentiment have been the U.S. shale oil producers, a stalling world economy and the trade wars started by the US administration. Your floor is $60, and ceiling $65 until we see some resolution on the trade wars or the world economy collapses. The ball is in your court Mr Trump, all OPEC will be able to do is decide the scale of the fall or rise.