Goldman Sachs Forecasts Crude Oil Will Increase to $110 a Barrel in 2012

Oil futures traded in New York will average $110 a barrel in 2012, up from a forecast of $100 a barrel next year, according to Goldman, Sachs & Co. analysts led by David Greely in New York.

“Looking toward 2012, the stage is set for a return to a structural bull market in oil,” the analysts said in the report dated today. The 2012 forecast is based on “the better prospects for continued robust world economic growth.”

A 2.4 million-barrel-a-day increase in global oil demand in 2010 will be sustainable at more than 2 million barrels a day in 2011 and 2012 and require OPEC to tap into its spare capacity, the Goldman analysts said.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries had spare capacity of 5.64 million barrels a day in November, according to Bloomberg estimates. That compares with 2 million barrels a day in July 2008, when New York-traded oil futures reached a record $147.27 a barrel.

Oil for January delivery gained $2.64, or 3.1 percent, to settle at $86.75 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the highest closing price since Nov. 11. Crude has averaged $78.72 a barrel so far this year.

To contact the reporter on this story: Margot Habiby in Dallas at mhabiby@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dan Stets at dstets@bloomberg.net.

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