Oil could double to $250 this year because Russia's supply to Europe will plunge, top traders warn

Oil could double to $250 this year because Russia's supply to Europe will plunge, top traders warn
A surge in oil prices has dramatically pushed up the cost of gas.Al Seib/Los Angeles Times/Getty Images
  • Oil prices could double to $250 a barrel this year because Russian supply to Europe could plunge, top traders said Wednesday.
  • "We are not going back to normal business in a few months," a leading trader said, according to an FT report.

Oil prices could more than double to $250 a barrel this year as Russia's war on Ukraine causes chaos in global energy markets, top traders have warned.

Well-known energy market figures Pierre Andurand and Doug King have predicted the market will be hit by a supply shock stemming from the war, according to a Financial Times report.

"Wakey, wakey. We are not going back to normal business in a few months," Andurand, a hedge-fund boss who specializes in energy, told the FT Commodities Global Summit in Lausanne.

"I think we're losing the Russian supply on the European side for ever," he said, predicting that oil could spike to $250 a barrel in 2022.

King, head of RCMA's Merchant Commodity Fund, said he thinks oil will rally to between $200 and $250 a barrel this year, the FT reported.


"This is not transitory. This is going to be a crude supply shock," he said.

Oil prices have risen sharply in response to the Ukraine invasion. Russia is one of the world's biggest suppliers, producing around 10% of the oil that the world uses each day.

The US has banned the import of oil from the country, and the UK is phasing out imports. The European Union has so far resisted calls to shun Russian oil, but a meeting today between US and EU officials could result in further energy sanctions.

Brent crude was little changed Thursday at around $118 a barrel, down from a high of $139 earlier this month. It traded at around $61 a barrel a year earlier in the day. WTI crude was also roughly flat at $115 a barrel Thursday.

The International Energy Agency has predicted the Ukraine conflict and resulting sanctions could knock out as much as 3 million barrels per day of oil production. The world consumes around 100 million barrels a day, according to the IEA.


However, making forecasts in the current environment is highly difficult, and predictions vary sharply.

Morgan Stanley's chief commodities strategist Martijn Rats thinks the drop in Russian production will be more like 1 million barrels a day, he told Insider last week.

Rats predicted that oil would rise to around $120 a barrel in the third quarter, and stay at around $100 a barrel for the next 18 months or so.

Yet he cautioned that the situation is very unpredictable, and said oil could easily spike higher than $120 at certain points.

Read more: A former Moscow journalist who now serves as the chief strategist at a $3 billion asset manager shares 3 trades to make in a turbulent market this year