We will continue to have cheap oil, so say the forecasts

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Quote of the barrel, OPEC

it Is a fact, the oil is falling. The price of a barrel has lost about 20% in the last two months, and there is no prospect of that going up soon. Despite the efforts of the producer countries of OPEC, to cut production has not made the prices rise the flight.

The oil is at its lowest levels of the past seven months

right Now the barrel Brent, of reference in Europe, is 45,5 dollars per barrel. The barrel West Texas, reference in the united States, is trading near 43 $ . The trend is to the downside, could soon reach the $ 30 per barrel.

What is happening? It is a complex phenomenon. OPEC is now several months wanting to put in difficulties to the industry of non-conventional oil (fracking or hydraulic break) of the united States pulling prices. The americans have resisted and are approaching their peak production, dated in the years 70.

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Photo: Tsuda (Flickr) CC BY SA

As prices have been falling for a excess-production -right now plenty of oil – the OPEC has seen several of its members have faced great difficulties, since they depend heavily on crude oil exports. Excess supply, demand waning, prices can only go down.

¿why we say that there is a demand waning? The developed world start to cut back its oil consumption by measures for greater economic efficiency and by the rise of progressive renewable energies. In addition, some economies are not growing at the projected rate and use less oil.

OPEC no longer has the same power that used to set prices, since two-thirds of the world consumption does not pass through their countries. If the jurisdiction of the OPEC produces a lot and cheap, if the arabs (mainly) closed a lot of the tap the most harmed are they. Lower income implies more damage to their economies.

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Photo: Jose Antonio Cotallo López (Flickr) CC BY

The industry of non-conventional oil is holding below $ 100 a barrel because it has improved its productivity and it can be profitable below $ 50 per barrel. Of time to the OPEC move has gone fatal.

Countries like Libya are exporting strongly, and Iran is preparing to do so. The partial lifting of the U.s. sanctions, linked to the nuclear power program in Persian, is giving oxygen to the theocracy asian. The sanctions can go back, but the oil companies assume the risk.

OPEC recently decided to cut back production until the year 2018, a situation which does not benefit them in the current scenario. The rest of the countries producers are apañando to meet the global demand. The petrochemical industry, and some countries have taken note of the period between 2014 and 2016, when prices plummeted, so it will resist better this time.

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Photo: Daniel Lobo (Flickr) CC BY

Meanwhile, in Spain, the competition increases

The year 2016 ended up with a number of gas stations is very high, 11.188 according to the AOP, or what is the same, a 8.5% more from 2011. The reform of the legislation in 2013, attracted to the market to several independent operators and small that are pushing the traditional companies.

Repsol maintains almost a third of all stations in Spain, 3.501, although throughout 2016 closed 43 stations. CEPSA, the second largest operator, took some of them and ended the year with 1.518 service stations. The second operator accounts for 13.8% of the market, and the third party, BP, 5,71%. The independent grow much in number, from 1,800 in 2011 to 2,600 in 2016.

The AOP believes that the independent sometimes compete in an unfair manner and there is even talk of fraud. Every 36 hours is opening a gas station new in Spain, or what is the same, a day and a half. It is relatively easy to find gas stations that sell diesel for under a euro a litre.