‘Tremendous speculative bubble’ grips oil market’

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If the man who called the 2015 crude collapse is right, the oil market could be the next area to see a sharp pull-back.

Oil, which is seeing its best start to a year since 2006, has entered a danger zone, according to Tom Kloza of the Oil Price Information Service.

Kloza, the firm’s global head of energy analysis, made the call on CNBC’s “Futures Now” on Tuesday just as Wall Street was coping with the stock market’s worst day since last August.

“There’s some collateral damage from the stock market right now. I don’t believe this is the blood-letting that’s due because of the tremendous speculative bubble and the money on the crude oil side,” Kloza said. “That will come at a later date.”

That day could be just weeks away, due to changing demand dynamics and “swelling” global markets, he added.

“All of the demand growth, all of it, is overseas. It’s not in the United States,” he said. “My sense is that global markets give back some of these very, very robust financial gains.”

Brent oil has soared 97 percent and WTI crude prices are up nearly 90 percent over the past two years. Right now, Brent is trading around $68 a barrel and WTI is bouncing around $64.

Kloza is looking for an average Brent price of $59 a barrel this year and a WTI range of $54 to $56, a substantial decrease from current levels.

In a note to CNBC, Kloza wrote he “wouldn’t be surprised to see prices move below these numbers when there is some fear among the fickle financial funds that drove prices to exuberant highs. But a $15-$20 bbl drop doesn’t compare to some historical declines ($111 bbl drop from the high in 2008) and the more than 50 percent drop of 2014-2015.”

The downward trend may spell bad news for Wall Street, but lower crude prices typically suggest cheaper prices at the gasoline pumps. But not in this case, warns Kloza. He’s detecting a paradox emerging in the energy market.

“Just when the bubble for crude oil is deflating, you’re going to see an increasing bubble for gasoline,” Kloza said. “And, we’re facing probably the highest second quarter gasoline prices for the American consumer that we’ve seen since 2014.” — CNBC.

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