Weak global economic growth momentum and a supply glut will cap oil prices at around $60 for the rest of 2015 and into 2016, analysts say.
"WTI oil futures will remain range bound at around $60 for the rest of 2015 and will only start trending up towards $70 a barrel heading into the end of 2016," Mizuho Research Institute senior economist Jun Inoue told CNBC in a phone interview. "Global economic growth looks soft, but there are no signs that oil supplies will fall," he said.
After falling to six-year lows earlier this year, oil prices have stabilized over the past two months. WTI futures have hovered in a $50-$60 a barrel range since early April.
Ahead of Friday's Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) meeting, ministers from oil-producing countries such as Iraq, Venezuela and Angola, have been touting a higher target of around $75—$80 range, Reuters reports.
But analysts don't see much scope for upside to those levels.
"Oil prices appear to be settling in a range of $60 to $70 per barrel," said Capital Economics in a note on Wednesday. "We think that prices are more likely to fall than to rise over the remainder of this year." Capital Economics is forecasting Brent at $60 by the end of the year. Brent futures were trading at $63.38 a barrel at mid-day Asia Thursday.
Whatever oil ministers from producer countries may be saying in Vienna, OPEC itself is unlikely to explicitly target a price, although it is expected to maintain production quotas that are helping to keep prices so low.