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Oil investors betting on crude hitting $82 per barrel

Investors are beginning to bet on a sharp rebound in the oil price by the end of the year, on the back of rising demand and a slowdown in US production.

Insch Capital Management, a Swiss hedge fund, is predicting that prices will be trading at about $82 per barrel by the beginning of next year, and already claims the market is oversold.

The Lugano-based fund says it plans to ramp up investments in the sector in preparation for an expected 50pc uptick in the price of crude by 2016.

Oil prices have recovered somewhat since falling sharply to below $50 a barrel after the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) decided in November to maintain production levels, despite weaker demand. Brent crude is currently trading at $64 a barrel.

However, consensus is forming among investors that the oil market could be poised to recover quickly, spurred by strong demand and an expected slowdown in US production, thanks to the high number of drilling rigs that are being closed.

Insch Capital said: “After the recent crude oil price declines, the oil rig count has dropped precipitously. Many oil companies are being forced to sell properties in order to repay bank debt.”

Low prices have given rise to speculation that oil companies may merge or divest assets.

Royal Dutch Shell has tabled a £47bn deal for BG Group. But apart from that high-profile acquisition, few deals have emerged.

Insch says it is taking advantage of the market by looking at adding a number of properties to its portfolio. “If completed, these acquisitions will substantially increase not only our operating rig count, but also our proven reserve.”

Source: Telegraph