A slim majority – 51 percent – of 100 Gulf energy industry executives polled believe that the price of Brent crude oil will average in the $60 to $70 a barrel range this year, according to the United Arab Emirates-based strategic communications consultancy Gulf Intelligence, which conducted the “GIQ Survey.”
The survey also found that 22 percent believe the average Brent price will be even higher – in the $70s – while 21 percent took a more cautious $50 to $60 view. Six percent of executives polled expect an average Brent price of $40 of lower this year, Gulf Intelligence noted.
Gulf Intelligence also reported the executives surveyed see a shift in the biggest driver of crude prices in the coming year. Geopolitical factors – particularly the threat of war in the Middle East and on the Korean Peninsula – will supplant oil supply cuts by OPEC and non-OPEC countries as the chief driver of crude prices in 2018, according to 67 percent of executives surveyed. After oil prices plunged below $30 a barrel in early 2016, OPEC and 12 non-aligned states finally agreed to cut total production by 1.8 million barrels a day in 2017, Gulf Intelligence stated. The consultancy also pointed out that subsequent pacts committed the suppliers to extending the cuts through this year.
Other findings from the survey include:
Gulf Intelligence noted that the executives surveyed will attend the annual UAE Energy Forum, which New York University Abu Dhabi will host on Jan. 11.