Goldman Says Oil at $35 Is 'Goldilocks' Ideal for US Explorers

Goldman Says Oil at $35 Is 'Goldilocks' Ideal for US Explorers
Oil at $35 a barrel is neither too high nor too low but just right to make shares of US explorers worth buying, according to Goldman Sachs Group Inc.

(Bloomberg) -- Oil at $35 a barrel is neither too high nor too low but just right to make shares of U.S. explorers worth buying, according to Goldman Sachs Group Inc.

While prices of crude at that level are above cash costs of production, they will deter a rebound in shale output from occurring too early, the bank’s New York-based analysts including Brian Singer said in a report dated April 6. Oil at $30 to $35 a barrel should keep the behavior of U.S. companies unchanged and help lift West Texas Intermediate to $55 to $60 a barrel in 2017, according to Goldman.

“We view our second-quarter 2016 oil outlook as an idealistic Goldilocks scenario,” the analysts wrote in the report. “We would use volatility to add to positions of shale productivity winners and the next rung down.”

Goldman said it favors U.S. producers EOG Resources Inc ., Diamondback Energy Inc. and PDC Energy Inc. as well as stocks in “the next rung down” -- Hess Corp., Cenovus Energy Inc., Anadarko Petroleum Corp., Encana Corp., Continental Resources Inc. and Whiting Petroleum Corp. While the bank predicts WTI crude prices will average $35 a barrel in the second quarter, it forecasts $38 for 2016 and $57.50 for next year.

Shale Boom

After an American shale boom triggered a crash in prices from more than $100 a barrel in mid-2014, the number of rigs drilling for oil in the U.S. has dropped to the lowest level since 2009 as producers tackle the fallout from a global oversupply. Crude has rebounded since mid-February amid speculation that members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and producers outside the group would forge a deal to freeze output and shrink the glut.

Goldman has “been less willing to believe in a sustained OPEC production freeze or cut,” according to the report. It expects the group’s output to increase by 600,000 barrels a day in 2016 and 500,000 barrels a day next year.

Saudi Arabia has said it will only freeze output if it’s joined by other suppliers including Iran, while Kuwait has signaled a deal doesn’t hinge on the Persian Gulf state. Iran, meanwhile, plans to boost production to 4 million barrels a day by the end March 2017, according to the nation’s Shana news service, which cited Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh.

Price Recovery

U.S. production may drop by 725,000 barrels a day in 2016, implying a monthly reduction of 85,000 barrels a day for the rest of the year, according to Goldman. Daily output was at 9 million barrels as of early April, data from the Energy Information Administration show.

“Our view on a path to a 2017 oil price recovery is contingent on a decline in U.S. oil production needed to rebalance the global market,” the Goldman analysts wrote in the report.

WTI futures traded 1 percent higher at $38.11 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange by 1:54 p.m. Singapore time. Front-month prices are up about 3 percent in 2016.

To contact the reporter on this story: Sharon Cho in Singapore at ccho28@bloomberg.net To contact the editors responsible for this story: Pratish Narayanan at pnarayanan9@bloomberg.net Glenys Sim.

Copyright 2016 Bloomberg News.

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Generated by readers, the comments included herein do not reflect the views and opinions of Rigzone. All comments are subject to editorial review. Off-topic, inappropriate or insulting comments will be removed.
Michael Frank | Apr. 7, 2016
Oil have had good times and bad times, but this time is different. Fossil fuel has reached the end of its life cycle. Saudi Arabia has realized oil biz is dying and has announced exit strategy...... When the low cost producer is preparing to leave, who shouldnt?


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