MOSCOW, February 24. /TASS/. Fitch Ratings has lowered the oil and natural gas price assumption by 22.2% from $45 to $34 per barrel, the agency reported Wednesday, adding that the move reflects its "view that prices are increasingly unlikely to recover this year."
"Our new base case is for Brent and WTI oil prices to average $35 a barrel in 2016," the report said.
"The reduction is due to a combination of stock build-up over the mild winter, higher-than-expected OPEC production in January and increasing evidence that global economic growth for the year will be weaker" than previously forecasted, Fitch said. "This suggests there will still be a supply surplus in the second half of 2016, albeit reduced from current levels, and that markets will probably only reach a balance in 2017. Even then, very high inventories will limit price increases," the report said.
The agency has also revised down the price assumptions for stress case, which now assumes oil prices of $25 per barrel in 2016, rising to $40 per barrel in the long-term. The price assumptions were previously lowered on January 20.