On January 2, 2018, Byron R. Wien, Vice Chairman in the Private Wealth Solutions group at Blackstone, issued his list of Ten Surprises for 2018. “Byron defines a “surprise” as an event that the average investor would only assign a one out of three chance of taking place but which Byron believes is “probable,” having a better than 50% likelihood of happening.”
Byron’s Ten Surprises for 2018 includes
“The price of West Texas Intermediate Crude moves above $80. The price rises because of continued world growth and unexpected demand from developing markets, together with disappointing hydraulic fracking production, diminished inventories, OPEC discipline and only modest production increases from Russia, Nigeria, Venezuela, Iraq, and Iran.” Continue reading "Why $80 Crude Oil Is Highly Unlikely In 2018"→
Oil prices and the dollar have been highly negatively correlated during the oil price collapse. From June 2014 through September 2016, the correlation has been -95%.
In financial articles, it's a commonplace to read that oil prices fell because the dollar strengthened, or oil prices rose because the dollar weakened. This is largely a confusion of correlation with causality.
The Energy Report: Marshall, before the Great Recession hit, we appeared to be on target for $150 per barrel ($150/bbl) Brent in mid-2008, and we were hearing forecasts of $200/bbl before the end of that year. But things have changed. I'd really like to get your fix on how you perceive energy markets have been altered over the past five years.
Marshall Adkins: For the oil market specifically, two massive structural changes have occurred since 2008. First, U.S. oil supply from horizontal drilling in tight shale formations has created a reversal of the four decade-long decline we've seen in U.S. oil production. When I say reversal, I'm not just talking a minor blip; I'm talking about erasing a 40-year decline within five years. This truly is a massive structural change to U.S. oil markets.
On top of that, in conjunction with the Great Recession, the world has figured out that there's too much debt, and most of the developed world is going through a deleveraging period. Historically, whenever you deleverage, you get subpar economic growth, and subpar oil demand growth. For the past five years, we've seen significantly lower demand growth for oil compared to the prior two decades. I expect that to continue, and I expect U.S. oil production to continue marching higher. Continue reading "Bullish on Oil Prices? Two Reasons You Might Change Your Mind"→