OPEC'S export capacity to fall - Driving oil prices to US$100 barrel in 2008, forecasts leading oil economist at global energy conference



    OPEC, Russia and Mexico export capacity to drop 2.5 million barrels a day
    by 2010

    CORK, IRELAND, Sept. 17 /CNW/ - CIBC (CM: TSX; NYSE) - Oil prices are
likely to hit US$100 a barrel by the end of next year as soaring rates of
domestic oil consumption in the world's leading oil producing nations cuts
into their export capacity, forecasts the chief economist at CIBC World
Markets.
    Speaking at the 6th Annual Association for the Study of Peak Oil & Gas
conference in Cork, Ireland, CIBC World Markets chief economist, Jeff Rubin
told delegates that the export capacity of OPEC, Russia and Mexico will drop
by 2.5 million barrels per day by the end of the decade.
    "Domestic demand growth of as much as five per cent per year in key oil
producing countries is already beginning to cannibalize exports and will
increasingly do so in the future as production plateaus or declines in many of
these countries," says Mr. Rubin. "OPEC members together with independent
producers Russia and Mexico consume over 12 million barrels per day,
surpassing Western Europe to become the second largest oil market in the
world.
    "At current rates of domestic consumption the future export capacity of
OPEC, Russia and Mexico must be increasingly called into question. These
trends are likely to result in a sharp escalation in world oil prices over the
next few years."
    He noted that while he expects today's US$80 barrel of oil will reach as
high as US$100 a barrel by the end of 2008, consumers in many major oil
producing countries pay nothing near the global price for crude. He finds that
highly subsidized gasoline prices are often a significant factor in surging
rates of domestic oil consumption. In many countries prices are as little as
US$10 a barrel.
    With exports from OPEC, Russia and Mexico expected to decline by seven
per cent over the next three years, markets will seek greater reliance on
higher cost unconventional deposits. He expects that Canadian oil sands will
surpass deep water wells as the single largest source of new oil exports by
decade end.
    He forecasts that Canada's oil sands will likely become increasingly more
coveted as they represent one of the last great reserves of supply open to
private investment. He estimates they represent anywhere from 50-70 per cent
of the world's oil reserves open to private investment, depending on one's
view of the investment climate in Nigeria and Kazakhstan.
    "For most multinational firms, the world is rapidly shrinking.
Increasingly they are shut out of the backyards of all the state-owned oil
patches and they have to compete against those state firms in places still
open to private investment. Canada remains one of the few places where there
is still private access to strategically important reserves, in sharp
contrast, for example, to the oil sand deposits in Venezuela."

    CIBC World Markets is the wholesale and corporate banking arm of CIBC,
providing a range of integrated credit and capital markets products,
investment banking, and merchant banking to clients in key financial markets
in North America and around the world. We provide innovative capital solutions
and advisory expertise across a wide range of industries as well as top-ranked
research for our corporate, government and institutional clients.





For further information:

For further information: or to receive a copy of Mr. Rubin's
presentation, contact Kevin Dove at (416) 980-8835 or kevin.dove@cibc.ca


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