The uncertainties hanging over the global recovery have encouraged traders to bet on sharply rising oil prices. For some, the barrel is expected to rise to $ 100 by the end of the year and $ 200 by the end of 2022.
In the wake of an increase in oil prices to levels not seen since 2014, some traders are betting on oil futures delivery options at 100 dollars (86 euros) per barrel at the end of the year, and $ 200 by the end of 2022.
Thus, from the end of September, call options on Brent, the benchmark North Sea crude, at $ 200 per barrel for delivery in December 2022 were traded 1,300 times in a single day according to data from ICE Futures Europe, one of the world’s leading exchanges for primary energy sources.
For the benchmark US crude WTI, the number of call options at $ 100 a barrel has increased fivefold since the beginning of February to reach more than 141,000 contracts by mid-October, according to data from CMEGroup, a major commodities exchange.
These very speculative call options and apparently disconnected from current prices (between 84 dollars per barrel of WTI and 85 per barrel of Brent according to the prices observed during the day of October 20) also reflect a great uncertainty of the market players as to the ‘orientation of the adjustment of supply to demand in the weeks and months to come.
Contrasting uncertainties and forecasts
Oil Octobers, which claims to be the world leader in professional information on oil prices, cites mixed opinions, in an article devoted to these options at 200 dollars a barrel, contrasting opinions.
For example, one of Japan’s major banks, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG), issued a note envisioning Brent falling to $ 64 per barrel by the end of 2021, while the Energy Minister d Oman estimates that the absence of new investment in the oil sector could push oil prices to $ 200 a barrel.
Bank of America, for its part, estimated in early October that a colder than usual winter, continued high gas prices and a restart in air transport could propel the barrel to 100 dollars for the next six months.
Asked from Baghdad by journalists and quoted by Reuters, Iraqi Oil Minister Ihsan Abdul-Jabbar said OPEC members were opposed to oil prices exceeding a level deemed “acceptable” between $ 75 and $ 85. He added that producing countries were currently studying ways to balance the market, but wanted to avoid an increase in global oil stocks, “because this could lead to the collapse of oil markets.”