An oil pump jack can be seen in Cisco, Texas, August 23, 2015. Reuters/Mike Stone
Crude oil prices remained at levels not seen since early 2009 on Friday as output in the Middle East continued to rise despite an already huge global glut, with analysts saying the price outlook for the rest of the year and into 2016 remained weak.
Brent crude futures were down 9 cents at $39.64 a barrel at 0745 GMT, not far off almost seven-year lows hit earlier in the session at $39.38 a barrel.
U.S. crude futures were at $36.65 per barrel, down 11 cents and still close to Thursday’s bottom of $36.38 – the benchmark’s lowest mark since February 2009.
“The next quarter is going to be particularly tough as we go from a high-demand to a low-demand quarter,” said Richard Gorry, director of consultancy JBC Energy Asia.
“Can you rule out $20 per barrel? No, you can’t,” he said, although adding that prices would not likely fall that far.
Gorry said he expected a slow rebalancing of the market towards the end of next year, with production remaining stubbornly high despite low benchmark prices.
“A lot of producers are trying to maintain positive cash-flows and that means maximising output, and Iranian barrels are also coming back to the market,” he said.
The price rout is a result of a huge overhang in production that is fast filling onshore storage sites, which some analysts expect to run out in early&hellip