Brent could push past $150/bbl if Russian oil exports shrink, BofA says

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May 27 (Reuters) – Global oil benchmark Brent crude could rise past $150 a barrel if there is a sharp contraction in Russian oil exports, Bank of America (BofA) Global Research said on Friday.

Oil prices surged after Russian’s Ukraine invasion, which Moscow calls a “special operation”, and are currently just below the $120 a barrel level. O/R

“With our $120/bbl Brent target now in sight, we believe that a sharp contraction in Russian oil exports could …. push Brent well past $150/bbl,” the bank said in a research note.

The European Commission has proposed an oil embargo on Russia, though talks have failed to produce a breakthrough so far, with Hungary vetoing the move. 

BofA forecasts Brent prices averaging $104.48/bbl in 2022, $100/bbl in 2023.

The analysts do not forecast a recovery in oil demand to pre-COVID levels in 2022 because supply issues persist.

“A supply-led $30/bbl increase in oil prices this year shaved 1.5mn b/d off demand, preventing a recovery to pre-COVID levels,” the bank’s analysts said.

They also said that oil demand could approach pre-COVID levels next year if Russian liquids (oil) production holds near 10 million barrels per day and OPEC+ supplies increase.

Oil prices were on track for weekly gains on Friday, supported by a prospect of a tight market due to rising gasoline consumption in the United States in summer and the possibility of the EU ban on Russian oil.

(Reporting by Ashitha Shivaprasad in Bengaluru. Editing by Jane Merriman)

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