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.
“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.