Oil prices have been under pressure this week as investors raised doubts over whether an agreement on a production cut between OPEC and non-OPEC members would soon materialize.
However, even if a deal over an output cut doesn’t emerge soon; one analyst believes prices are still going to climb.
“We think even without an OPEC deal, prices are headed higher and that’s purely because of fundamentals,” Miswin Mahesh, oil analyst at Barclays, told CNBC on Friday.
“Demand, supply — when we do the numbers, we’re getting a deficit as early as Q1 to Q2.”
When looking at the first to second quarter, Mahesh said it was possible prices could head towards the $50 to $55 per barrel range.
Meanwhile, Chantico Global’s CEO Gina Sanchez argued on CNBC’s Street Signs Europe, that unless the market sees some significant news out of the OPEC meeting—which she said she didn’t anticipate—oil is likely to trade back down to around $40 per barrel.
Representatives from OPEC and non-OPEC countries are expected to begin two-day negotiations on Friday to hash out plans over a possible output-capping deal, which is expected to be presented to the OPEC meeting by the end of November, Reuters reported. However doubts over the discussions pushed crude prices into the red on Friday, with U.S. crude at $49.20 and Brent at $50.04 at 2.00 p.m. U.K. time.
What this technical meeting suggests is that OPEC wants to convey to the market that it’s taking this output discussion very seriously; however on the face of it, it appears the “market is actually losing hope now”, Mahesh told CNBC.
“Besides the Saudis, no other country has actually come out and said we will also cut. The other GCC members might. Iran has said they don’t want a fixed number; they need a percentage number which is a moving target as well. So it’s a very, very complex and it’s just getting harder by the day,” said Mahesh.
The uncertainty over what OPEC will do to fix the current state of the energy market raises questions over what the outcome of the November talks will be.
“Looks like what we’re headed to is a namesake deal — we probably get a three to six month deal where the Saudis do something just to sort of ‘save face’,” Mahesh said.
“And their credibility’s also on the line here, as much as OPEC’s is, and the market has put a lot of faith in the Saudi word, more so than the OPEC word.”