Dr. Omar Al-Ubaydli briefed Russia’s Valdai Discussion Club on oil market conditions and forecasts under the current stress of the Coronavirus pandemic.
He suggested that the current viral outbreak leaves no solution effective to balance the oil market. There is a 6-month wait for the virus to recede, after which there could be a role for OPEC+. He said there is no price war, but rather a competitive act in an unregulated market. Right now the economic consequences are the major threat, and oil producers and consumers should cooperate to get rid of the resulting effects. He added that predictions are difficult because this is the first time in 100 years where so many countries simultaneously shut down economic activities, and the crisis could last for 1 month if things should improve. Oil prices should return to $50-55 per barrel before the end of 2020, if public health officials predict correctly.