Crude oil prices will remain in the $45-$50-a-barrel range till mid-2017, with little to change the global supply and demand situation, Goldman Sachs said in a note Thursday.
The investment bank's analysts ran through the many scenarios that would keep the oil market in stasis.
"The improvement in oil fundamentals remains fragile and continues to feature large offsetting forces: wildfires have helped offset surprisingly strong Iran production, slowing demand growth in India and China in 2H16 will help offset production issues in Nigeria and Venezuela and finally product builds have offset crude draws," they said.
Uncertainties in the near-term oil outlook thus leaves the key price driver to be largely related to movements in the U.S. dollar - the global crude oil trade is dollar-denominated - rather than market fundamentals, the bank's analysts pointed out.
In fact, there will be a modest supply deficit of 230,000 barrels a day in the second half of the year, they wrote.