Oil Trader Andurand Sees US, OPEC Supply Capping Prices

(Bloomberg) -- Oil supply from both OPEC and U.S. shale drillers is set to expand later this year, preventing further gains in prices, according to hedge fund manager Pierre Andurand.

Oil prices will remain “relatively low” for the next two years as a rebound in recent months allows U.S. producers to revive slowing output, said Andurand, who generated a 38 percent return in 2014 from wagering that oil would fall. At the same time, members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries including Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait are raising their production amid concerns demand is nearing its peak, he said.

“We’ll be in a market where both U.S. production will go up and OPEC,” Andurand said in a Bloomberg Television interview with Stephanie Ruhle at the Commodity Debate conference in New York on Thursday. “It’s going to be difficult for prices to go much higher in the short term.”

Andurand in March told clients that U.S. benchmark oil prices would drop to around $30 a barrel in the following two months as crude stockpiles expanded in Cushing, Oklahoma, the largest oil-storage hub in the U.S. While government data showed that inventories did keep growing at Cushing until April 17, U.S. oil prices have surged to about $60. West Texas Intermediate oil fell 16 cents to $59.72 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 12:10 p.m. Singapore time Friday.

Iran Return

Andurand started his $450-million Andurand Capital Management hedge fund in 2013, the year after the firm he co- founded, BlueGold Capital, shuttered with losses of 34 percent. Andurand had previously traded oil at commodity firm Vitol Group.

BlueGold had managed about $2.2 billion at its peak, having almost tripled its value by correctly betting on higher oil prices in the first half of 2008 and then reversing the strategy. The fund started trading in February 2008 and returned 209 percent that year, 55 percent in 2009 and 13 percent in 2010.

Besides the potential for more supply from OPEC’s “core” Gulf members, there’s scope for additional output from Iran, which would deepen the current surplus, Andurand said.


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