Best guesses on oil prices

CERA is projecting oil prices will soften in the coming years to the 2010 range, according to Marie Fagan, a CERA director who spoke in an afternoon session called “Oil Sector Finance: The Cliff Behind the Clouds.”
Prices could spike to $70 if new projects don’t grow as expected, Fagan warned.
Andrew Safran, head of Citigroup’s energy, power and chemicals business, said he thought prices will trade in the $40 to $60 range in the coming years. There will be potential for quick price movements, Safran said, noting that oil prices have changed as much as 18 percent in the past two weeks.
William Montgomery, head of the natural resources group for Goldman Sachs, said he recently polled his firm’s oil researchers who were finding for the first time their clients were undecided about where prices will go in the future.
He summed up his reluctance to provide a specific number by paraphrasing a quote from an economist he knew: “We forecast not because we know but because we have to.”
Noting the boom and bust cycles of the energy industry, Safran marveled at where the recent oil price discussions have gone.
“Who would have thought four or five years ago we’d be talking about a downside scenario of $40 per barrel?” Safran said.

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