* Outlook turns bearish as economic growth stays weak
* High production, inventories weigh on oil prices
* Brent crude oil to slip to average $107.50 in 2013
* U.S. crude seen at $94.70 in 2013 vs $98.50 Oct. poll
* For a table of forecasts, see
By Koustav Samanta
Nov 29 Oil prices are expected to fall slightly
over the next year as high production feeds softening demand at
a time of slowing global economic growth, a Reuters poll shows.
Reuters' monthly oil price survey of 29 analysts forecasts
North Sea Brent crude oil will average $107.50 per
barrel in 2013, down $1.30 from the forecast in the October poll
and compared with an average of around $111.90 so far in 2012.
Five analysts now expect Brent to average less than $100 in
2013, compared with three in last month's poll.
Only three analysts forecast Brent will average more than
$115 next year, compared with five analysts last month.
"We are notably bearish on the near term oil price
environment given that we see a fundamental oversupply of oil,"
said Raymond James analyst Praveen Narra, who has the lowest
2013 Brent price forecast of $80 per barrel in the poll.
Gain Capital Group analyst Chris Tevere is also bearish:
"Our overriding outlook continues to foresee slowing global
growth (which) consequently should persist in undermining
(oil)demand," Tevere said.
The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development
has cut its outlook for global growth, reducing its forecast for
2013 to 3.4 percent from 4.2 percent, saying the euro zone debt
crisis was a serious threat to the world economy.
Expectations of slowing growth have led many analysts to
trim their oil price projections, although most institutions are
less bearish than Narra at Raymond James.
"Our analysis of supply and demand in 2013 suggests the oil
market will be in comfortable surplus next year (barring an
unforeseen disruption to supply) and thus we expect prices to
fall back," said Caroline Bain at the Economist Intelligence
Many analysts argue loose monetary policies being followed
by leading central banks should keep a floor on oil prices, and
geopolitical tensions may lead to price spikes, but most say
upside risks have diminished.
"While geopolitical concerns in the Middle East have
increased of late, namely in the Gaza strip, since this is not
an export heavy region, it is unlikely to lead to supply
disruptions," Gain Capital's Tevere said.
"Tensions between Turkey and Syria still persist, and this
could potentially effect the supply of oil should this escalate
to other nations within the Middle East. While we ultimately
believe cooler heads will prevail, these elevated risks could
see crude spike at times," he added.
Harry Tchilinguirian, head of commodity market strategy at
BNP Paribas, said the prospect for further quantitative easing
in the United States with a resulting weakening of the U.S.
dollar and a seasonal upturn in demand could support oil prices
this northern hemisphere winter.
Barclays had the highest Brent price forecast in the poll
with $125 per barrel for 2013.
Analysts also saw a narrowing of the Brent/WTI spread due to
easing geopolitical tensions in the course of next year. The
poll projected a spread of $12.8 for next year.
"New pipeline capacities in the U.S. should help to reduce
oversupply in the U.S. Midwest and to narrow the price gap
between Brent and WTI next year," said Carsten Fritsch, senior
oil analyst at Commerzbank in Frankfurt.
(Additional reporting by Ratul Ray Chaudhuri in Bangalore;
editing by Christopher Johnson and James Jukwey)