Oil Prices to Fall From Last Year, Analysts Say, But How Much?

Michael Lynch, president of Strategic Energy & Economic Research, told CNBC’s “Morning Call” that he expects weak demand to cut the price of a barrel of oil to the low $50s by the end of the year.

“Demand has been very weak the last few months and I think that’s going to continue,” Lynch said Thursday.

But Kevin Lindemer, executive managing director of Global Energy Services, wasn’t so optimistic.

“We think oil is going to be in the low $60 range -- maybe $65 depending on demand growth,” Lindemer said. “We see the global economy moving along pretty much at trend rate [of] 3.2% or 3.3% of real growth.”

But he expects this summer’s price to be at least $10 lower than last year’s price.

“That’s going to improve consumer spending and lower the overall cost of oil on the economy,” he said. “We’re expecting that if there is an impact on the economy from higher oil prices, it will be diminished from last year.”

As expected, OPEC ministers meeting in Vienna on Thursday agreed to maintain existing oil production levels. On the New York Mercantile Exchange, a barrel of oil recently fetched $58.05, down 11 cents. The price peaked last July at $78.40.