It was a roller coaster year for oil prices. And little wonder.
Iranian oil flooded onto world markets after sanctions were lifted, OPEC squabbled over production levels and then ended the year with a rare agreement to cut supply.
The icing on the cake: big producers outside the cartel promised to help curb output and drain a huge oil glut.
After starting the year around $30 a barrel, prices plunged to $26 in February — the lowest since 2003 — before climbing back above $50 this month.
So what does 2017 hold?
Leading industry experts say prices should stay above $50 if oil producing nations stick to their guns and cut supply by nearly 1.8 million barrels per day.
“I know the countries are serious,” BP (BP) CEO Bob Dudley told CNNMoney on Saturday in Abu Dhabi. “Notices of curtailment have gone out from this region. Russia is clearly very serious about participating in that …all the ingredients are there to do it.”
“There is no question in my mind that if this agreement stays intact the floor will be around $50,” Dudley said.
Efforts to curb supply should mean the global crude oil glut will disappear in the first half of next year, according to the International Energy Agency. That’s much earlier than it had previously predicted.
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