Conference Board of Canada takes cautious view on crude price rebound
CALGARY — The Conference Board of Canada says it's taking a cautious view of crude prices, even though they've improved substantially since the beginning of the year. The key U.S. benchmark, West Texas Intermediate, has been hovering around the US$60 mark for the past few months after dipping as low as US$44 in January. The Ottawa-based economic think-tank expects WTI to gradually recover over the next few months, but remain below US$65 a barrel even by the end of 2015. That's welcome in Canada's oil industry, where many drillers can't make ends meet with oil below US$50 and still struggle in the US$60 range. The board says although a drop back to US$50 a barrel is unlikely, the days of US$100 crude are becoming an increasingly distant memory. There are risks that could cause a pullback, like high U.S. inventory levels, greater Saudi production and a surge in U.S. shale production.