I can’t recall a time when analysts’ oil price forecasts for the coming year were so divergent. At the high end, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley think the global oil benchmark Brent will average $110 next year, while a few other analysts think it will average more than $115. At the low end, Raymond James sees Brent averaging just $80. Deutsche Bank says the spread between analysts is even wider, with a $50 gap between the high and low forecasts.
None of these analysts have particularly stellar track records though. Goldman recommended in February that their clients go long on U.S. oil at $107, very nearly the peak price of the yearand an excellent time to sell. In October 2011, Raymond James forecast an $85 average for the U.S. benchmark WTI in 2012; it currently averages $94 for the year.