BENGALURU (Reuters) – Oil analysts have grown more pessimistic over the prospects for a significant price rally this year, as booming U.S. shale output and a deteriorating global economic backdrop threaten to offset the boost from OPEC’s crude supply cuts. A Reuters survey of 36 economists and analysts on Thursday forecast Brent crude oil futures to average $66.44 a barrel in 2019, slightly below the $67.32 projected in January’s poll. That also compares with the $62 average for the global benchmark this year. This is the fourth straight month in which analysts have cut their oil price forecasts. Prices could rally gradually over the course of the year, if the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and their partners such as Russia agree to more production cuts in April, and if U.S. sanctions on Iran and Venezuela lead to tightening global crude supply. But the chances of a bigger price increase seemed remote, analysts said. “In the short-term, oil markets are going to be characterized by supply tightness on international markets thanks to the OPEC cuts and U.S. sanctions on PDVSA,” Edward Bell of Emirates NBD bank said. “Over the rest of 2019, though, the rising oil price sits incongruously… continue reading
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