Oil To Surge To $70 By Year End Despite Iran Deal

Analyst says additional oil from Iran will be more like a trickle than a flood.

Senior ETF Analyst
Reviewed by: Sumit Roy
Edited by: Sumit Roy

Phil Flynn is senior energy analyst and a futures account executive at Chicago-based The Price Futures Group. He is one of the world's leading energy market analysts and a daily contributor to Fox Business Network, where he provides market updates and analysis. Flynn recently sat down with ETF.com to discuss the Iranian nuclear deal and the implications for the oil market.

ETF.com: World powers clinched a deal to curb Iran's nuclear program last week. Do you think ultimately it's going to be good for the world?

Phil Flynn: It's too early to tell, but you have to be a little bit skeptical because this Iranian regime is still dedicated to the destruction of Israel. They're an anti-Semitic regime that funds Hezbollah and other terror organizations. It's good to talk, but I'm just afraid that instead of stopping them getting a nuclear weapon, the deal may improve the odds of them getting a nuclear weapon.

You can be optimistic, pray that this regime has gotten a change of heart and it’s not the "death to America" regime that it’s claimed it is, but you’ve got to be skeptical: We’re talking about a regime that wants to wipe out Israel. I'd like to believe it wants to rejoin the world community, but its rhetoric doesn't seem to live up to that.

ETF.com: Do you think that there's a chance Israel would act on its own, militarily?

Flynn: It's possible. If you look at history, Israel took out Saddam Hussein's nuclear weapon capability early on, back in the '90s. At the time when it did that, it was criticized. It was only later on that people were happy that Saddam Hussein didn't have a nuclear bomb, especially after he decided to invade Kuwait.

ETF.com: Of course, there's going to be implications for oil from this accord. Do you expect Iran's exports to rise significantly? And what time frame are we talking about?

Flynn: A lot of people are predicting a flood of oil. I think it's going to be more of a trickle of oil. The Iranian production capability has been severely hurt. It claims it can bring on 400,000 barrels per day pretty quickly and add it to the global market.

I'm skeptical it can bring that much oil back online; that would be a best-case scenario. And in any case, before it can bring that back online, it still has to get through the IAEA weapons inspectors by Dec. 15.

The deal also has to get through the U.S. Congress, which has 60 days to review it.

ETF.com: Speaking of that, Republicans in the U.S. Congress and even some Democrats have said that they might try to stop the deal. Is there a chance of that happening?

It's likely they will vote it down, but President Obama is going to veto it. And then it will be unlikely that Congress could override the veto. Thus, there's a sense that whatever opposition they have might be a moot point, because it looks like the president would have the power to override it.

If Congress does vote it down, it'll be an issue for the next election, but not for this particular deal.

ETF.com: We've recently had this sell-off in oil prices from the $60's into the $50's, partly due to this Iran deal. What's your view on oil prices for the rest of 2015?

Flynn: The biggest wild card is China more than Iran right now. My belief is that we will see oil prices eventually start to come back up, but in the short term, they're still going to be under pressure a bit. I do believe we can see oil prices get back up to $70 by the end of the year, assuming that the China situation doesn't totally fall apart.

ETF.com: That’s a big rally. What do you see driving prices higher?

Flynn: Demand could exceed expectation. It looks like we're going to see Europe stabilize somewhat now that the Greece situation has settled down.

By the same token, if China stabilizes, demand globally will be a lot stronger than people think.

For the next couple of weeks, we're going to be chopping around, but we're going to end the year on a positive note, with a run up toward $70.

Sumit Roy is the senior ETF analyst for etf.com, where he has worked for 13 years. He creates a variety of content for the platform, including news articles, analysis pieces, videos and podcasts.

Before joining etf.com, Sumit was the managing editor and commodities analyst for Hard Assets Investor. In those roles, he was responsible for most of the operations of HAI, a website dedicated to education about commodities investing.

Though he still closely follows the commodities beat, Sumit covers a much broader assortment of topics for etf.com, with a particular focus on stock and bond exchange-traded funds.

He is the host of etf.com’s Talk ETFs, a popular video series that features weekly interviews with thought leaders in the ETF industry. Sumit is also co-host of Exchange Traded Fridays, etf.com’s weekly podcast series.

He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area, where he enjoys climbing the city’s steep hills, playing chess and snowboarding in Lake Tahoe.