| 21 October 2021, Thursday |

Oil prices could hit ‘$100 per barrel by the end of 2021’, Roubini says

Oil prices are likely to remain “significantly higher for many years” and could even touch $100 per barrel by the end of this year as underinvestment in the hydrocarbons sector keeps a lid on supply, according to a top economist.

Underinvestment comes as the world focuses on transitioning to clean energy as it seeks to cut emissions.

“We all care about global climate change and we all wanted to decarbonize but what has happened is that there is one massive underinvestment for the last five years into fossil fuels whether it is coal, whether it is oil, whether it is natural gas,“ said Nouriel Roubini, chairman of Roubini Macro Associates, a global macroeconomic consultancy based in New York City.

Oil prices have been increasing in the past few weeks as demand outstrips supply owing to a surge in gas prices and a quicker-than-expected economic recovery in developed countries. The hike in natural gas prices before the winter season has also improved the possibility of higher volumes of oil products being consumed to generate power, boosting overall demand.

Brent, the international benchmark for more than half of the world’s crude, is up 2.33 per cent to $84.31 per barrel at 4.39pm UAE time on Monday. West Texas Intermediate, the key gauge for US oil, is also trading higher at $81.64 per barrel, up 2.89 per cent. Both benchmarks slipped to $83.5 and $81.17 at 9.35pm UAE time.

Roubini also said the supply of green energy and renewable energy was not “rising fast enough” to meet the growing demand as global economy recovers from the coronavirus-induced slowdown.

The rising oil prices will also lead to higher inflation globally, resulting in a slowdown in the growth, he said.

“We’ve lived for the last 30 years … a period of great moderation, inflation was low and growth was stable. This regime is over and we are going to move to a period of what I call a period of great economic and financial instability … where inflation is going to be much higher,” the economist, nicknamed Dr Doom due to his dire predictions, said.

Annual inflation across some of the world’s largest economies increased to 4.3 per cent in August, driven by rising energy and food prices, the Organization of Economic Co-operation and Development said in a report earlier this month.