Crude oil prices have more than halved over the past year, with international Brent crude crashing from over $100 a barrel in July 2014 to trade at $48.49 today.
Oil prices have dropped by some 10 per cent in the past year alone, and a note released by Standard and Poor’s today gloomily suggests they may stay down even longer than expected with a “more prolonged recovery”.
The ratings agency forecasts that Brent crude will be trading around $50 per barrel by the end of the year, down $5 from its previous forecast.
It also predicts that the price of US benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) will remain flat at $45 throughout 2015, also revised down by $5.
Oil prices are expected to start recovering slightly by 2016, to start bounce back further ahead.
The impact of oil’s global oversupply has been worsened recently, as China’s economic slowdown pushes demand down, and other analysts have suggested oil prices could have much further to fall.
Two weeks ago, Goldman Sachs released a note warning that it could fall as low as $20 per barrel, as the market was “even more oversupplied than we had expected”.