March 24, 2020 / 5:40 AM / 4 days ago

Barclays cuts 2020 crude forecasts by $12 on virus, OPEC+ deal collapse

FILE PHOTO: An oil tanker is seen at sunset anchored off the Fos-Lavera oil hub near Marseille, France, October 5, 2017. REUTERS/Jean-Paul Pelissier

(Reuters) - Barclays on Tuesday slashed its oil price forecasts for 2020, citing considerable downward pressure on the market from a Saudi-Russian price war and demand disruption because of the coronavirus.

The bank lowered its 2020 price outlook for Brent and West Texas Intermediate by $12 each to $31 and $28 per barrel respectively.

“Prices are likely to remain under pressure until the virus situation turns the corner, and if we continue on the projected market balances path, even Saudi Arabia and Russia will not be immune from the price fallout,” analysts at the bank wrote in a note.

It joined several other banks in slashing their oil price forecasts on account of the collapse of an output curb deal amongst members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies, or OPEC+, as well as the demand hit from the virus.

Barclays also forecast global available onshore storage capacity at about 1.5 billion barrels with an estimated oversupply of over 5 million barrels per day (bpd) for this year and an oversupply of 10 million bpd on average for second quarter.

Meanwhile, “strategic petroleum reserve (SPR) purchases by the U.S government are unlikely to alleviate U.S. producers’ pain,” the bank said.

The available SPR storage is less than 80 million barrels, according to Department of Energy data, and would amount to a flow of less than 0.5 million bpd when filled over a period of six months, compared with almost 10 million barrels of projected oversupply over the second quarter, it added.

Oil prices rose on Tuesday on hopes that the United States will reach a deal soon on a $2 trillion virus aid package which could blunt the economic impact of the outbreak and in turn support oil demand.

Prices slumped over 20% after the breakdown of the OPEC+ agreement threatened to flood the market with oil.

Reporting by K. Sathya Narayanan in Bengaluru; Editing by Gerry Doyle

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