Hedge fund manager Pierre Andurand believes supplies of Russian oil into Europe will disappear in the light of warmongering from Vladimir Putin, as many traders expect crude prices to reach as high as $250 a barrel this year.
The French oil trader said that, after listening to local media reports, he was convinced Moscow’s aggression would last for a long time, which would lead to reshaping global energy markets.
“They say we start with Ukraine, then we take Poland, then we take the Baltics, then we take the whole of Europe and then we nuke the US,” he said. “Wakey, wakey. We are not going back to normal business in a few months. So I think we’re losing the Russian supply on the European side forever.”
Andurand became one of the best-known energy traders by predicting the majority of the big swings in oil markets over the past two decades.
Other veterans of the oil market speaking at the FT Commodities Global Summit in Lausanne agreed that Russian crude and refined products would not return to the European market anytime soon, even if a ceasefire with Ukraine was agreed.
As a result of the supply strain, Doug King, head of RCMA’s Merchant Commodity Fund, forecast that oil prices would soar to between $200 and $250 a barrel this year, up from $118 a barrel on Wednesday.
“This is not transitory. This is going to be a crude supply shock,” he said.
However, commodity trading group Trafigura was among the most bearish with Ben Luckock, the co-head of oil trading, forecasting a peak price of $150 a barrel this summer.