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Oil price forecast: Will WTI and Brent regain momentum in 2023?

By Jekaterina Drozdovica


Oil wells pictured in an oil field, silhouetted against clouds
What do experts expect from oil prices over the coming year? – Photo: pan demin /

Oil prices have slumped since their peak in April 2023, which followed the production cuts announcement by OPEC+. The prices have retreated amid concerns of global recession and high interest rate environment and the concerns surrounding the US debt ceiling.

The Brent crude oil price peaked at $86.96 on 12 April, yet since then slumped by over 13%, as of 22 May.

Brent crude live price chart

Meanwhile, its US cousin, WTI oil price, peaked at $83.11, before retreating by over 11%.

WTI crude live price chart

With so many factors pulling the prices of the commodity in different directions, will prices regain the momentum? Here we take a look at the oil price forecast for 2023 and beyond.

Oil market’s basics 

West Texas Intermediate (WTI) and Brent are both high-quality, light, sweet crude oils with low density and sulphur content. Refiners prefer light oil because it is easier to distil, refine and transport.

Brent and WTI are the world’s two major oil markets. Brent crude oil is extracted from the North Sea and WTI is extracted in the US, primarily from Texas.

Despite having a lower sulphur content than Brent crude, WTI oil is typically cheaper than Brent. This is because Brent’s key supply resource - North Sea oil fields - will be depleted long-term. North America, on the other hand, is raising WTI production from shale and oil sands.

Crude oil futures are traded on commodity exchanges: Brent trades on the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), while WTI trades on the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX). 

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What’s driving oil prices in 2023?

The price of oil surged to above $130 per barrel in March 2022, boosted by the supply concerns amid Russian invasion of Ukraine, and the consequent oil import restrictions by Western countries. After trading at elevated levels, the price of black gold has gradually declined, and by the end of 2022 oil was trading at one-year lows as recession fears hurt investor sentiment

Brent crude oil price, 2018 - 2023

Sanctions on Russian oil

The sanctions on Russian oil have been the key item in the oil market news for over a year. The EU ban on seaborne imports of Russian crude oil came into force in December 2022 combined with a price cap of $60 per barrel by the EU, G7 and Australia. This was followed by an embargo on refined oil products in February 2023. 

The G7, EU, and partner countries have also prohibited the provision of maritime services for Russian crude oil shipments and for Russian oil products, unless the oil is being purchased at or below a capped price.

While sanctions have hurt Russia’s seaborn exports, volumes have recovered as Russia redirected its trade to non-sanctioning countries in Asia and Africa. Plus, oil prices showed limited volatility despite the sanctions. Yet according to ECB economists, the impact can still materialise. They explained in the March bulletin

“The price cap on crude oil might have a stronger impact on Russian crude oil exports in the coming months, as sanctioning partners aim to keep the level of the cap at least 5% below the market price for Russian oil. Future reassessments of the price cap level could test whether the sanctions are working as intended, particularly as Russia officially prohibited exports of oil to countries that join the cap mechanism as of February and more than 60% of Russian crude oil flows from the Baltic Sea and the Black Sea are still being insured by sanctioning countries.” 

The economists also pointed out that in response to sanctions, Russia announced a cut in oil production from March 2023, “corresponding to around 0.5% of global crude oil supply”, and that overtime the embargo on refined oil products may add additional pressures overtime. 

OPEC+ production cuts 

In early April, OPEC+ producers declared an unexpected cut in oil production by roughly 1.6 million barrels per day. Reuters estimated that this will bring the cumulative reduction in oil output by OPEC+, which consists of OPEC, Russia and other allies, to 3.6 million barrels per day (bpd), representing 3.7% of the total demand

Oil - Crude

81.06 Price
-0.240% 1D Chg, %
Long position overnight fee 0.0363%
Short position overnight fee -0.0582%
Overnight fee time 21:00 (UTC)
Spread 0.030


30.70 Price
-0.370% 1D Chg, %
Long position overnight fee -0.0202%
Short position overnight fee 0.0120%
Overnight fee time 21:00 (UTC)
Spread 0.040

Natural Gas

2.18 Price
-5.750% 1D Chg, %
Long position overnight fee -0.0212%
Short position overnight fee -0.0007%
Overnight fee time 21:00 (UTC)
Spread 0.0050


2,422.05 Price
+0.460% 1D Chg, %
Long position overnight fee -0.0192%
Short position overnight fee 0.0110%
Overnight fee time 21:00 (UTC)
Spread 0.60

The surprise move has come amid fears about global recession and OPEC+’s commitment to support oil prices by limiting supply. It may also have been triggered by the tensions with Washington, and the release of oil stocks by the International Agency of Energy (IEA) a year earlier.

The price of Brent crude surged by over 6% after the announcement, hitting a peak of $86.96 per barrel in mid April. However, the price retreated by over 12% as of 22 May. 

Concerns about growth decline hit oil price 

Meanwhile, concerns about persistent inflation, declining economic growth in the US coupled with the anxiety about the banking sector and the US debt default risks dampen investor confidence in oil. As explained by Daniela Hathorn, senior market analyst at, in an analyst note on 3 May:

“The demand forecast for crude remains weak because of these concerns despite falling inventories in the US. Expectations about the future growth potential in the US economy will be key to determine the momentum in crude oil. A hawkish Fed may lead to renewed bullish momentum in the US dollar, with the potential to send WTI back towards the $68 mark. In contrast, if traders perceive some weakness in the central bank’s ability to keep rates elevated throughout 2023, then the dollar is likely to reverse the recent gains as risk appetite potentially pushes WTI back above $75 per barrel.”

Meanwhile, ANZ Research analysts pointed out on 19 May that “oil remains range bound in the face of mixed signals”. They said: 

“While US gasoline demand is yet to show a summer travel pick-up, air travel in China is back to its pre-pandemic level. China’s apparent oil demand hit a record high of 14.5mb/d, bringing its share of global oil demand growth to 50%. US oil inventories are being drawn down, and distillate inventories are falling despite industrial weakness.”

Oil price forecast for 2023 and beyond

Amid the bearish sentiment ING cut its oil price forecast for Brent crude.  As of 15 May, the Dutch bank saw a barrel of the commodity trading at $82 in the first quarter of 2023, rising to $84, $93 and $99 in the following quarters of the year, respectively, and averaging at $90. 

In 2024, the Dutch bank’s oil price predictions saw the commodity trading at $89, and $75 in 2025. Warren Patterson, head of commodities strategy noted in the article on 12 May:

“The oil market has given back all of its gains made following the latest OPEC+ supply cut announcement. Instead, it's the macro story which has dictated price action. While there may be a bit more downside in the near term, the outlook for the second half of the year remains constructive on the back of tighter fundamentals”

In its short-term energy outlook published on 9 May, the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) also cut its oil price forecast for 2023. The agency saw the price averaging at $79 versus previous $85.01 in 2023, slowing to $74 in 2024.

As of 18 May, ANZ Research saw Brent crude averaging at $90 in 2023 before rising to $105 in 2024. 

Fitch Solutions was the only firm that provided an oil price forecast for 2025. As of March 2023 assumptions, the agency saw Brent crude trading at $85 in 2023, falling to $75 in 2024, $65 in 2025 and $53 in 2026. 

None of the analysts have provided an oil price forecast for 2030.

Brent crude oil price forecasts 

ANZ Research$90$105  

Source: ING, GS, EIA, ANZ, Fitch

Meanwhile, the ANZ WTI oil price forecast suggested the US oil to rise to $104 by the end of 2023, and stay at that level in 2024, averaging at $89 in 2023 and $104 in 2024.

Fitch saw WTI crude to trade at $80 in 2023, before slowing to $70 in 2024, $60 in 2025 and $50 in 2026.

WTI oil price forecasts

ANZ Research$89$104  

Source:ANZ, Fitch

Note that analyst predictions can be wrong. You should always conduct your own research before trading, and never trade more money than you can afford to lose.


Is oil a good investment?

Whether crude oil is a good investment for you or not will depend on your portfolio composition, investment goals, and risk profile. Different trading strategies will suit different investment goals with a short or long-term focus. You should do your own research and never invest what you cannot afford to lose.

Will oil go up or down?

Analysts provided mixed forecasts for oil amid the subdued effect of the OPEC+ production cuts and concerns about the global recession. As of 18 May, ANZ Research saw Brent crude averaging at $90 in 2023 before rising to $105 in 2024. Fitch Solutions, meanwhile, gave a more conservative forecast in March 2023, seeing the commodity trading at $85 in 2023, before falling to $75, $65, and $53 in 2024, 2025, and 2026 respectively. Note that their predictions can be wrong.

Should I invest in oil?

Whether crude oil is a good investment for you or not will depend on your portfolio composition, investment goals and risk profile. Different trading strategies will suit different investment goals with short or long-term focus. You should do your own due diligence. Never invest what you cannot afford to lose.

Markets in this article

Oil - Brent
Brent Oil
84.317 USD
-0.237 -0.280%
Oil - Crude
Crude Oil
81.064 USD
-0.193 -0.240%

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The difference between trading assets and CFDs
The main difference between CFD trading and trading assets, such as commodities and stocks, is that you don’t own the underlying asset when you trade on a CFD.
You can still benefit if the market moves in your favour, or make a loss if it moves against you. However, with traditional trading you enter a contract to exchange the legal ownership of the individual shares or the commodities for money, and you own this until you sell it again.
CFDs are leveraged products, which means that you only need to deposit a percentage of the full value of the CFD trade in order to open a position. But with traditional trading, you buy the assets for the full amount. In the UK, there is no stamp duty on CFD trading, but there is when you buy stocks, for example.
CFDs attract overnight costs to hold the trades (unless you use 1-1 leverage), which makes them more suited to short-term trading opportunities. Stocks and commodities are more normally bought and held for longer. You might also pay a broker commission or fees when buying and selling assets direct and you’d need somewhere to store them safely.
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