U.S. oil companies and refiners are likely to face another challenging 12 months in 2024, Bank of America (BofA) analysts wrote in a note on Friday, who expect Brent crude to average $80 per barrel this year.
Crude futures lost over 10% in 2023 in a tumultuous year of trading marked by geopolitical turmoil and concerns about the oil output levels of major producers around the world.
“We expect oil to remain volatile, exacerbated by outsize paper market influence, informed by geopolitics and OPEC policy,” BofA wrote in the note.
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies, or OPEC+, is currently cutting output by around 6 million barrels per day, representing about 6% of global supply.
According to BofA, the bigger challenge for investors this year is to not underestimate Saudi’s commitment to oil while acknowledging that Brent could remain in a notional $70-$90 band due to non-OPEC output and an uncertain demand outlook.
The brokerage said absolute valuations for the sector, on average, are less compelling than at any time since Covid, following the strong recovery over the past three years.
BofA, however, sees tailwinds from recent dealmaking in the largest U.S. shale field, the Permian basin.
(Reporting by Arunima Kumar in Bengaluru; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri)