Volatile oil prices are expected to finish the year near current levels, even though crude may make another plunge in the second half of 2015, according to a new CNBC Oil Survey.
The respondents were uniform in their view that OPEC will take no action at its meeting this week. But the upstart U.S. shale industry has proven trickier to predict, and answers were nearly equally split on whether it would increase, decrease or keep production steady this year.
Seventy-seven percent of the participants in the survey say they believe oil prices have already hit their lows for the year. Nine percent expect even lower prices, while 14 percent say they are not sure.
The survey, conducted in the past week just ahead of OPEC's meeting in Vienna, included 22 top industry analysts, traders and strategists. Their average forecast for West Texas Intermediate oil for year end is $60.80, while they expect Brent to reach $65.91 per barrel. By the end of 2016, they expect roughly a $10 per barrel increase in each over 2015 levels.