by Jerome a Paris
Thu Jan 4th, 2007 at 05:29:27 PM EST
Time to say who won the bottle of champagne I promised at the beginning of last yeat to who would provide the best forecast of the oil price at the end of 2006.
One thing is certain: it's not me!
My own bet:
Highest: 240$/bl, after a US bombing raid on Iranian nuclear facilities, in October
Natgas highest: 25$/mbtu after a cold spell in March. Year-end: 17$/mbtu
100$/bl oil reached in October
Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong!
End of year prices were:
Dated Brent: 59.80
WTI Cushing: 61.05
Oil prices end 2006 where they started
WASHINGTON (AP) - Oil prices settled above $61 a barrel Friday to finish 2006 roughly where they began, marking another tough year for energy consumers and another stellar one for the petroleum industry. It was the fifth straight year in which oil prices were higher than the year before, on average.
On Friday, light sweet crude for January delivery rose 52 cents to settle at $61.05 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, up a penny from where they ended last year.
Nymex oil futures peaked at $78.40 on July 14, but averaged $66.25 for the year, compared with $56.70 in 2005 and $41.47 in 2004.
The price of natural gas plummeted by almost 41 percent from start to finish in 2006 thanks in large part to mild weather and bulging U.S. inventories, but remained high by historical standards. For the year, natural gas futures averaged $6.98 per 1,000 cubic feet, or 23 percent below the 2005 average of $9.01.
Natural gas futures settled Friday at $6.299 per 1,000 cubic feet.
So we're still in a long term upwards trend, but with a sharp drop in the last third of the year that cancelled the steady gains of the first part of the year, and the year ended a wash. The short term trend is still down, especially with the current mild winter we enjoy.
But, despite the Lebanon crisis, there was no big geopolitical crisis, no major supply incident (there were several smaller ones, though) and no visible shortfall in oil nor gas.
So the gloomiest predicitions, like mine, did not come to pass and were, to say the least, wrong.
I'll be back with new predictions for 2007 in a forthcoming diary, but my credibility there will not be so great - at least with respect to short term price bets. I hope that what I write on the long term trends still makes sense, but contrarians and critics are free to make themselves known in the thread!
As regards who won the bet from the initial betting threads in late 2005, it's a close call between londanium who bet $62 for Brent ($2.15 too high), and wchurchill who bet $58 for WTI ($2.05 too low), both on the eurotrib thread.
The second betting thread in late November this year provided a lot of answers which were at least in the correct ballpark (but that's less surprising with one month to go), and the closest bet was histopresto on DailyKos at $61.01 for WTI, almost a bullseye.
So it is my pleasure to announce that the 2006 winner of the bottle of champagne is wchurchill
Second prizes go to londanium and histopresto
Please contact me by email to organize delivery.