As the Oilholic prepares to say yet another goodbye to Houston, one cannot but help wondering why the new found pragmatism here over the possible direction of the oil price is not reflected elsewhere in the oil market.
Brent is currently within touching distance of $80 per barrel, while the West Texas Intermediate is firming up above $71 per barrel.
Having spent a whole week deliberating with market participants out here in America's oil capital, including physical traders, few seem to think the oil price can sustain three figures, even if it gets there.
The sentiment was echoed by several delegates at the Baker McKenzie Oil & Gas Institute 2018 with most there, including leading legal and financial advisers, dismissing a sustainable return to a three-figure oil price. In fact, most are advising their clients not to get carried away, and mark a return to the profligacy of the sort we saw in the US oil patch when the price was last in three figures back in 2014.
Their clients, i.e. representatives of leading oil companies and project sponsors also share the sentiment, and while appreciative of relatively higher oil prices, are in no mood to get carried away.
Yet with Venezuelan production heading to a historic dive below 1 million barrels per day, US President Donald Trump's withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal and the general geopolitical malaise in the Middle East, hedge funds and money managers are piling in to the futures market in the hope of extending a rally largely supported by OPEC's output cuts.
Plenty of food for thought, but the oil market is in real danger of overstretching itself! And on that note, that's all from Houston folks. Time for the ride home to London. Keep reading, keep it 'crude'!
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© Gaurav Sharma 2018. Photo: View of downtown Houston, Texas, USA from Burnett Street on the outer edge of town. © Gaurav Sharma, May 2018.
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