The Strategist

Moody's improves global energy outlook

04/27/2021 - 03:43

International rating agency Moody's has upgraded its outlook on the global energy sector to positive from stable on the back of rising energy prices and recovering demand for commodities, the agency said in a statement.

"Sustained commodity price growth amid a global economic recovery should support a turn in the industry during the next 12-18 months," the agency wrote.

The agency keeps its medium forecasts for oil prices at between $45 and $65 a barrel, and for Henry Hub, which produces natural gas, at $2 to $3 per MMBtu (1 million British thermal units).

"Deferred demand from consumers and increased manufacturing and trade activity as the coronavirus infection spread is contained are contributing to a recovery in global economic activity. This, in turn, accelerates the pace of recovery in oil and gas demand in late 2021 and early 2022," the agency said

According to the agency, the favourable market environment and relatively low operating costs will boost earnings of upstream (E&P) companies in 2021.

Moody's also writes that pent-up travel demand and seasonal earnings growth in the 2nd and 3rd quarters of 2021 are promising for the downstream sector through 2022. The agency expects that world demand for products may grow by around six per cent this year and nearly four per cent in 2022.

"At that, strong profits in the world upstream and refining segments will drive oil firms' profits up by around 50% on average, however, compared to a low base," the agency adds.