Oil prices will reverse their recent gains asglobal crude inventories begin to increase again, with U.S. crude likely to drop as far as $40 a barrel in the near-term, Goldman Sachs said.
Oil prices rose by almost a third between January and February on the back of Middle East supply disruptions, strong winter demand and high refinery margins. That followed a rout that had seen price falls of around 60 percent between June 2014 and January this year.
But Goldman said that "the activity pull is sequentially weakening" and that global crude inventories would therefore rise, pushing West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude to $40 a barrel, levels last seen at the peak of the global financial crisis in late 2008, early 2009. It stood at around $49.40 on Monday.
"While we continue to forecast a strong demand recovery in 2015, we believe that sequentially weaker activity, the end of winter and the end of potential restocking demand, will lead to a sequential deceleration in demand-growth as we enter the spring," the bank said.