Oil prices would likely hold at around $40 per barrel for the next few years, the head of the Central Bank of Russia, one of the top oil producers in the world, said Monday.
Crude oil prices were trading above $100 per barrel just two years ago.
The Russian comment came as oil prices continue their decline into the second week, losing about one per cent to 1.1 per cent on Monday.
The Central Bank of Russia said it’s unlikely that oil prices will collapse again below the $30 per barrel mark, however.
On Monday, Brent crude oil traded at $44.36 per barrel. West Texas Intermediate, the U.S. benchmark price for oil, was down 1.1 percent from Friday’s close to start trading at $42.95 per barrel.
Market pessimism was triggered over doubts on whether production arrangements and slight declines in exploration and production would bring oil prices lower.
Oilfield services company Baker Hughes last week reported that only Canada saw an increase in exploration and production activity using rig counts as a metric. After a steady period of momentum, the number of rigs actively exploring for or producing oil or natural gas in the United States declined by 1 from the previous week.
Rig counts serve as a loose measurement of how willing companies are to invest in new exploration and production efforts. The loss from the United States came from net activity in the Lower 48 states.
Oil prices are relatively the same as they were last year, but about 15 percent below their peak and Baker Hughes data could indicate a decline in sector confidence.
Baker Hughes reported figures for October that were lower than for the same month last year. The U.S. rig count for the week ending Nov. 11 was 199 less than the same period in 2015.
With members of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries reviewing production strategies to keep markets in relative balance.
A research note last week by Bank of America-Merrill Lynch said it’s likely OPEC members will coordinate around some formal agreement by the end of November, but formalising arrangements among 14 members and non-members like Russia could present headwinds for further strength in crude oil prices.
“A dysfunctional cartel is perhaps the biggest concern in the market at the moment,” the note read.
With reports by UPI