Financialist:100美元桶已成油价“新常态”
2014-08-05 15:45:40
Financialist:100美元桶已成油价“新常态”(2014.08.05)

  提要:布伦特原油价格5年移动平均值在6月份首次达到100美元/桶。油价高涨一方面是由于全球经济和世界人口的持续增长推动了全球原油消费量的攀升,另一方面是由于中东和北非地区不断出现的地缘政治风险导致原油供应增长滞后于需求增长。鉴于中东和北非政局动荡的深刻根源,因而很长时间内该地区石油行业难以实现稳定发展。因此,预计高位运行将成为油价的新常态。

  (外脑精华·北京)谈及高油价,人们马上会忆起2008年酷暑月份,当时逼近150美元/桶的原油价格迫使夏季驾车出行者重新考量公路旅游的利益得失。但是,随着全球金融危机的爆发以及全球经济放缓,油价在2008年11月份回落至50美元//桶之下。如今油价再度涨至高点水平,布伦特原油价格5年移动平均值在6月份首次触及100美元/桶的水平。更糟糕的是,瑞士信贷能源商品分析师Jan Stuart认为油价不会再次回落。他称当前的油价水平是“一种新常态”水平。

  油价为何会迅速回升并可能维持在当前水平呢?

  经济与人口的持续增长推动石油需求攀升

  从需求方面来看,答案显而易见。全球经济和全球人口都在持续增长,而且人类对化石燃料的需求随之增长。在过去20年力,全球原油需求仅仅出现过两次下降的情况,分别是在全球金融危机最严重的2008年和2009年。根据国际能源署的预测,2014年全球原油消费量将会同比140万桶/日(同比增长1.5%)至创纪录的9270万桶/日,基于经济复苏动能增强,国际能源署在今年3月份上调了其对全球原油消费量的预期。

  诸多地缘政治风险制约石油供应

  就基本面而言,全球原油处于供不应求状况。虽然页岩气的开采使得美国原油产量激增,但美国是全球主要非欧佩克产油国中唯一原油产量大幅增长的国家。英国石油公司发布的《世界能源统计评论》显示,总体而言,2013年全球原油消费量增长了140万桶/日,而全球原油产量仅同比增长了56万桶/日。

  原油供应从一开始所面临的主要威胁就是地缘政治风险。例如,宗派暴力冲突的升级令伊拉克(欧佩克第二大产油国)1500亿桶已探明原油储量的开采前景再度蒙受阴影,进而推动布伦特原油一路攀升,并在6月19日触及115.19美元/桶的高点。回顾2009年,当时市场对伊拉克原油产量的预期很高:市场预计外国石油企业的追加投资将使伊拉克原油产量在2013年翻倍至500万桶/日,到2019年达到800万桶/日。进而使得在2010-2012年的10年间的伊拉克原油增产量达到这一时期欧佩克原油增产总量的近60%。这10年期已经走过了近一半,但伊拉克原油现行产量仅约为320万桶/日。布伦特原油价格已经回落至110美元/桶之下,而且当前的伊拉克暴力冲突尚未蔓延至其南部产油区,但是,埃克森美孚和英国石油等外国石油企业已经开始撤回驻伊拉克的员工,投资者担心持续的暴力冲突持续将导致伊拉克原油生产彻底中断。

  伊拉克只是众多地缘政治风险汹涌的一个缩影。被称为“阿拉伯之春”的反政府运动浪潮所波及的所有国家的原油供应几乎都出现了问题。始于去年夏天国内(该国是非洲原油储量最高的国家)抗议示威活动造成去年利比亚(非洲原油储量最高的国家)的原油产量从140万桶/日降至约35万桶/日,但在示威者进行了为期4个月的示威抗议活动后,利比亚El Sharara油田于近期开始恢复生产,有望恢复30-34万桶/日的生产能力。在南苏丹,自去年12月以来,南苏丹总统与其前副手之间的政治争斗造成南苏丹原油产量下降近三分之一至约16万桶/日的水平。国内冲突事件也造成了利比亚和也门的原油产量下降。Jan Stuart表示:“中东和北非的政局动荡有着极其根深蒂固的原因,因而需要很长时间才能变成一个石油行业稳定发展的地区。” 与此同时,瑞士信贷预计自2011年2月以来,上述地区的原油产量已经下降了300-350万桶/日。

  那么,让我们将话题转回油价出现的这种“新常态”。瑞士信贷在6月份将2014布伦特原油均价预期值从107.03美元/桶上调至110.6美元/桶,将其对2015年布伦特原油均价的预期97.50美元/桶上调至102.50美元/桶。而且瑞士信贷上调油价预期并非无凭无据。根据瑞士信贷的估测,原油价格每下跌10美元/桶,美国实际收入增速将下降0.4个百分点。瑞士信贷首席经济学家James Sweeney表示:“我们对中东地区发生的政治事件感到担忧。油价出现一次剧烈冲击确实可以干扰我们的许多周期性预测。”

  英文原文:Why Triple-Digit Oil Is the ‘New Normal’

When the idea of high oil prices comes to mind, one quickly recalls the hot months of 2008, when crude prices of nearly $150 a barrel had summer drivers rethinking the cost vs. benefit equation of road trips. But one silver lining of the global financial crisis and economic slowdown was that it brought prices back down below $50 a barrel in November of that same year. And here we are again: Last month, the five-year rolling average price of Brent crude topped $100 a barrel for the first time ever. Worse yet, Credit Suisse energy commodity analyst Jan Stuart doesn't think another reprieve is in the cards. He calls the current price level "a new normal."

How did we get back here so quickly and why are prices likely to stay put?

On the demand side, it's quite simple. Both the global economy as well as global population continue to grow, and along with them demand for fossil fuels. Global oil demand has fallen only two times in the past two decades: the height of the global financial crisis in 2008 and 2009. Global consumption should increase by 1.4 million barrels a day, or 1.5 percent, to a record 92.7 billion a day in 2014, according to the International Energy Agency, which raised its forecast in March as the economic recovery gained momentum.

For its part, supply is not keeping up with demand. While U.S. production has grown substantially thanks to shale drilling, the U.S. is the only major non-OPEC nation posting significant production increases. All-in, last year's oil consumption grew by 1.4 million barrels a day, while production only increased 560,000 barrels a day, according to the BP Statistical Review of Energy.

As has been the case since the start, the main threat to oil supply is geopolitics. Increasing sectarian violence in Iraq, for example, has once again put the 150 billion barrels of proven oil reserves of OPEC's second-largest producer into question, in the process helping to push the price of Brent to a high of $115.19 on June 19. Back in 2009, expectations were high: New investment by foreign oil companies was going to double Iraq's output to 5 million barrels a day by 2013 and further increase it to 8 million by 2019. And that, in turn, would account for some 60 percent of OPEC's overall production increase through decade's end. Yet we're nearly halfway through the decade and production is around 3.2 million barrels a day. Brent prices have dipped back below $110, and the current spasm of violence hasn't reached the oil producing south, but companies including ExxonMobil and BP have begun evacuating employees, and investors are worried that continued violence could render even more modest production forecasts a pipe dream.

Iraq is just one example of many. The wave of political uprising exuberantly (and prematurely) coined the “Arab Spring” has left oil supply problems in its wake nearly everywhere it has rolled through. Protests that began last summer in Libya, which holds Africa's largest reserves, cut output to around 350,000 barrels a day from the 1.4 million barrels a day the country was producing last year, although the country recently restarted production at its El Sharara field, which will hopefully bring between 300,000 and 340,000 barrels a day back online after a four-month strike by protesters. In South Sudan, fighting between the president and his former deputy has cut output by roughly one-third to around 160,000 barrels a day since December. Conflicts in Syria and Yemen have also cut output. "The instability in the Middle East and North Africa is so fundamental that it's going to take a very long time for it to become a stable place for the oil industry," says Stuart. In the meantime, production has fallen by a total of between 3 million and 3.5 million barrels a day since February 2011, according to Credit Suisse.

So let's get back to this 'new normal.' Last month, Credit Suisse raised its forecast for average Brent prices in 2014 and 2015 to $110.64 and $102.50 from $107.03 and $97.50, respectively. And these things do not happen in a vacuum. Every $10 a barrel increase in oil prices reduces real U.S. income growth by as much as 0.4 percent, according to Credit Suisse estimates. "We are worried about the political events in the Middle East," says James Sweeney, chief economist for Credit Suisse's investment bank. "A meaningful shock in oil could really disturb a lot of our cyclical outlook."

来源:Financialist,2014.7.16,作者:Jens Erik Gould
作者:Jens

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