12/28/2015

OPEC Predicts Oil Prices Will Reach $70 by 2020

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Crude oil futures, currently at about $37 per barrel, will climb to $70 by the end of the decade, predicts the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries.

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Crude oil futures, currently at about $37 per barrel, will climb to $70 by the end of the decade, predicts the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries.

The cartel also expects its share of global oil production will shrink from 30% currently as other producers continue their high levels of output. OPEC supplied roughly half the world's petroleum in the 1970s.

The group says current low prices will finally pressure U.S. shale oil operators to cut production in 2016, thus enabling petroleum futures to rise. Led by Saudi Arabia, the cartel has refused to reduce its own production in a bid to defend market share.

OPEC notes this year's slump in oil prices has resulted in a "huge" drop in spending on oil exploration and production. It says those reductions also will work to eventually hike the price of crude. The cartel adds that the projected growth in the world's population, coupled with economic expansion, will boost demand for energy nearly 50% by 2040.