Barclays sees a “stark” picture of tightening oil supply and high prices in years ahead.

Barclays: “We map the longer-term supply/demand picture, and the signals here are stark. Oil supply from existing fields is falling by close to 4m bls/d per year due to natural decline; global demand is rising by more than 1m bls/d each year, even in the current weak environment. Hence, the supply gap that needs to be filled each year from new fields is more than 5m bls/d. This presents a material challenge for the energy industry. While this long-term supply squeeze may have been less apparent in the quarter just past, 3Q12 looks as if it will see a significant tightening of the oil market, with a 2m bls/d upswing in demand and falls in both OPEC and non-OPEC supply. To this we can add minimal spare capacity and heightened geopolitical tensions in several regions. A release of US strategic reserves would provide only a slight and temporary respite. Thus, we continue to have strong oil price conviction, and our Brent forecast for 2013 is $125/bl. For the longer term, we expect prices to follow an inexorable, if volatile rise to above $180/bl before the decade closes.”