(Bloomberg News) Oil may fall next week as Libyan rebels consolidate their hold on the country after deposing leader Muammar Qaddafi and begin taking steps to restore crude exports, a Bloomberg News survey showed.
Seventeen of 34 analysts, or 50 percent, forecast oil will decline through Sept. 2. Nine respondents, or 26 percent, predicted prices will increase and eight estimated there will be little change during the period. Last week 42 percent of surveyed analysts projected a decline.
Libya's National Transitional Council plans to resume production "in a few weeks," Ahmed Jehani, chairman of the rebels' stabilization team, said Aug. 23 in Dubai. Output may take a year to reach the previous total of 1.5 million barrels a day, he said. Production from Libya, which holds Africa's largest oil reserves, slumped to 60,000 barrels a day in July, according to the Paris-based International Energy Agency.
"We haven't really seen a drop reflecting the Libyan news," said Michael Lynch, president of Strategic Energy & Economic Research in Winchester, Massachusetts. "We're going to see some production restored relatively soon, and I think that will have a moderate impact on the market next week."
Libya could boost output to 200,000 barrels a day by mid- September, then increase to 500,000 barrels a day by the end of the year and full capacity of 1.6 million at the end of 2012, according to a forecast this week by Edward Morse, head of commodities research at Citigroup Global Markets Inc.
Standard Chartered Plc cut its third-quarter price forecast this week on weaker-than-expected demand in the U.S. New York- traded West Texas Intermediate crude may average $90 a barrel in the three months ending Sept. 30 from a previous forecast of $98, according to a report dated Aug. 24 by Helen Henton, a London-based analyst.
Total products supplied, a measure of fuel consumption, has fallen 5.2 percent to 19.2 million barrels a day in the two weeks ended Aug. 19, according to an Aug. 24 report from the U.S. Energy Department.
Crude oil for October delivery has increased $2.71, or 3.3 percent, to $84.97 a barrel this week on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Futures are down 7 percent this year.
The oil survey has correctly predicted the direction of futures 48 percent of the time since its start in April 2004.