Brace for $40-a-barrel oil.
The U.S. benchmark crude price, down more than $60 since June to below $45 yesterday, is on the way to this next threshold, said Societe Generale SA and Bank of America Corp. And Goldman Sachs Group Inc. says that West TexasIntermediate needs to remain near $40 during the first half to deter investment in new supplies that would add to the glut.
“The markets are continuing to price in huge oversupply in the first half of 2015,” Mike Wittner, head of research at Societe Generale SA in New York, said by phone on Jan. 12. “We’re going to go below $40.”
Oil is seeking a “new equilibrium” as the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries abandons its role of keeping supply and demand aligned, according to Goldman. Prices are poised to drop further, testing the ability of U.S. shale drillers to keep pumping.
WTI fell as low as $44.20 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange yesterday and closed today at $48.48. The U.S. benchmark has dropped 10 percent this month, extending a 46 percent plunge last year that was the worst since the 2008 financial crisis.