Price of crude oil and global financial crisis

International analysts, who forecasted a 200 dollars/barrel price for this year, are now estimating a 50 dollars/barrel price in 2008, in the context of global recession.

Last year, when crude oil hit record high unfolded to market’s bullish trend. Since then, the “black gold” sank 45%, while declines in the stock markets reach to 75%.

“The fourth quarterly results will probably suffer from the aggressive fallout of crude oil, but for third quarter, the outcomes are likely to be positive”, said Paul Brendea (photo), financial analyst at Prime Transaction.

Conoco Philips reported 41% higher profit for third quarter 2008, compared to a year ago, led by the skyrocketing price of oil in this summer. However, Conoco is not the only international company. Other winners of the crisis are Shell, OMV and Chevron.

“The last-month steep declines will obviously hurt the earning in fourth quarter, it remains to be seen at which extent”, he added.

Companies in the energy sector floated at Bucharest Stock Exchange have been hardly hit, by financial crisis and depreciations geared by it on the capital market and by the sinking crude oil price.

Daniela Turcas, financial analyst at IFB Invest says the effects of unfavorable evolutions that financial markets are experiencing will reflect on the recent trends of crude oil quotations and implicitly on companies in the energy sector.

“Apart from sinking crude oil costs and falls at BSE, there is also the surging volatility on the currency market and the restricted access to lending, which affects companies in the energy sector,” Brendea added.

In case of companies with high indebtedness level and with a high dependence to financial debts, the credit crisis and crude oil’s fall are punishing blows, according to Marius Pandele, Head of Research at Vanguard.

“Rompetrol Rafinare faces defaults in paying debts, whereas the plummeting crude is an advantage to the company, therefore it will not be a double-hit issue. Petrom, on the other hand, is disadvantaged by the fallout of oil, but has low degree of defaults and is little dependent on banking loans”, Pandele explained.

As for companies in energy, drilling, construction and maintenance of installations, they will probably not feel the effects of drop in crude oil quotation, unless it will lead to a shortage in money allocated to investments. “And this could happen within a year or two, if things continue in this direction”, said Vanguard’s analyst.