March Madness: Top Factors Shaping the Energy Landscape in 2016

Wikistrat - March Madness cover

Earlier this year, Wikistrat ran a four-day “March Madness” (playoff-style) voting exercise to determine the top factors shaping the energy landscape this year. More than 70 analysts from our global community participated, including energy experts, academics, representatives from business and industry, and analysts with expertise on technology and development in Europe and North America.

The voting took place across four rounds that narrowed down key supply and demand factors. The factor determined by Wikistrat’s analysts to be most consequential was a market forecast of broad economic stagnation (a demand-side factor).

The supply-side factor determined to be most influential was Iran entering the oil market with unexpectedly high volume.

Analysts believe fundamentals to be weak influencers of prices except in negative terms (e.g., Iran producing more than expected). Our community’s emphasis was rather on external events disrupting supply, with economic/financial evaluations in futures remaining the main driver of oil prices.

By next year, fundamentals are likely to become slightly more relevant as production cuts begin to slowly impact the supply/demand differential.

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