Oil prices won’t rise much further over the next year and a half as demand growth slows and refiners comfortably meet gasoline consumption, according to the world’s largest independent oil-trading house. "I cannot see the market really roaring ahead," Vitol Group of Cos. Chief Executive Officer Ian Taylor told Bloomberg Television in an interview. "We have a lot of oil in the system and it will take us considerable time to work that off." Since rallying from a 12-year low of $27.10 a barrel in January, Brent crude has been hovering around $50 a barrel for the last month. The international benchmark will probably end the year “not too far away from where we are today" and rise to about $60 by the end of 2017, Taylor said. The forecast, which coincides with a similar view from Goldman Sachs Group Inc., would mean oil-rich countries and the energy industry face a prolonged period of low prices, more akin to the 1986 to 1999 downturn than the swift recovery after the 2008 financial crisis. Brent crude fell to $49.09 a barrel in London at 12:53 p.m. local time, down $1.01 on the day. In New York, West Texas Intermediate, the U.S. benchmark, fell to $47.87 a barrel.
Oil prices dipped on Thursday as the U.S.-China trade war continued to cloud prospects for the global economy and fuel demand despite a resumption in talks seeking a resolution to the 15-month conflict.
The dispute has disrupted global supply chains and slowed growth in the world’s two largest economies, curbing fuel consumption in both.