Steady Footing for Oil through US Election

The US election is a mere 3 weeks away and most experts agree that oil will remain on steady ground until after the election is decided. Covid-19, renewables, and consumer behaviors have brought crude to the brink several times since March. The US Shale industry has been forced to endure the worst market conditions in crude history over the past 6 months. Most recently, crude has spiked and leveled off several times in the last couple weeks, but analysts believe it should remain trading between $40-$43/bbl through the election.

Saudi Arabia has stepped up it’s rhetoric to give OPEC some worldwide credibility, at least for now. Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman gave “clear hints” in mid-September when he said: “We will never leave this market unattended. I want the guys in the trading floors to be as jumpy as possible. I’m going to make sure whoever gambles on this market will be ouching like hell.”[1]They even told short sellers to not bet against the price of commodity. The market broke $43/bbl with the rhetoric but has since rebalanced.

With the Saudi’s leading the way, many experts believe the worst may be over for the oil market and that there is a path to smooth and/or drastic climb higher. Keeping in mind that reserves are 220M over the 5 year average and world consumption is still not back to pre COVID numbers, China saw a 5.9% increase in crude imports for September to 11.85 million bpd. [1]

Lastly, the upcoming US election may play a larger role than most suspect in the price of oil. In 2018, the US surpassed Saudi Arabia to become the world leading exporter of crude. While only the fittest shale companies will survive the bust, a Biden win in November could boost oil prices. His green initiative takes aim at fossil fuels, particularly the US shale industry. On Sunday, Goldman Sachs said in a note that a Joe Biden win will likely be an upward catalyst for oil prices because it will increase costs for the shale patch and will likely result in a weaker U.S. dollar. They expect a Biden Administration will tighten regulation, taxes, methane restrictions, and new drilling for the oil industry, which, as a whole, will raise the cost of U.S. shale production, leading to “shale supply headwinds.” [2]

In closing, with many factors playing vital roles in the crude market with worldwide implications, the US election may play a bigger role than most thought. Most experts and analysts agree that crude prices will remain on solid ground trading between $40-$43/bbl until at least Nov 3, 2020.

[1] https://oilprice.com/Energy/Oil-Prices/Brent-Oil-Unlikely-To-Rise-Above-43-Until-After-US-Election.html

[2] https://oilprice.com/Energy/Energy-General/The-Next-Couple-Of-Months-Are-Crucial-For-US-Oil.html

[1] https://oilprice.com/Energy/Oil-Prices/Oil-Spikes-After-OPEC-Claims-The-Worst-Is-Over-For-The-Oil-Market.html

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