Analysts Bearish on Crude Market Recovery

Analysts Bearish on Crude Market RecoveryAnalysts Bearish on Crude Market Recovery

Investors are losing faith in an oil price recovery next year, as Iran prepares to add more crude to a global glut amid other factors weighing on the market.

Oil fell to the lowest level in more than six years on Dec. 21 amid speculation suppliers from the Middle East to the US will exacerbate a glut as they fight for market share, Bloomberg reported.

Iran, which expects sanctions over its nuclear program to be lifted by the first week of January, has secured customers for its planned supply expansion, an Iranian oil official said this month.

“There’s every reason to be bearish,” said Tom Finlon, Jupiter, Florida-based director of Energy Analytics Group LLC. “As we approach the end of December, there’s more attention being paid to the expected return of Iranian barrels adding to the glut in supply.”

Iran’s priority is to boost shipments to pre-sanction levels, Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said, according to IRNA.

"The nation sees the potential for further oil-price declines as it plans to boost supply amid a lack of OPEC cooperation," said Rokneddin Javadi, head of National Iranian Oil Company, according to Shana.

Javadi, who is also a deputy oil minister, said the Iranian government plans to add 500,000 barrels a day of exports within a week of the removal of sanctions and 1 million within six months.

“There are fundamental elements that will put downward pressure on the market during the new year,” said John Kilduff, a partner at Again Capital LLC, a New York-based hedge fund that focuses on energy. “The supply and demand outlook is negative.”

WTI climbed to a three-week high on Dec. 24 after crude inventories declined and drillers idled rigs. Stockpiles should move higher in January because Gulf Coast refiners curb deliveries at the end of the year to reduce local taxes, Kilduff said.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if we start the year with an initial run to $40 before running out of steam,” Kilduff said. “The first half of the year will be tough. I think we should make new lows and drop below $30 when the refinery maintenance season begins.”