Dr. Alexey Vedev, Head of the Financial Studies Department at the Gaidar Institute, former Deputy Minister of economic development of the Russian Federation, was interviewed by Oxu.Az, where he commented on the forecast on oil prices by the Danish Investment Saxo Bank.

Saxo Bank experts expect the cost of a barrel of oil to increase to $150/barrel in 2024. Currently, a barrel of Brent oil costs about $75. Alexey Vedev, commenting on this news, noted that the forecasts of some investment banks are often excessive PR and intend to attract attention.

Five years ago, it was actively predicted and written that in the next 15 years the price corridor for oil would vary fr om $40 to $60 per barrel, i.e. low prices would last for a long time. However, we have faced the opposite. By all means, it is difficult to forecast the cost of oil, but if it is about Brent, I think that in the coming year we should expect a price of $70 to $85 per barrel, and this may continue for another couple of years. True, anything is possible in life: for example, the oil price could jump up to the already mentioned $150, but I don't expect that. And I certainly do not expect a sharp drop in the price of “black gold.”

- Alexey Leonidovich, will oil producing companies of Azerbaijan, Russia, Kazakhstan be threatened by a drop in oil revenues and respective economic cataclysms in such a scenario?

- Exactly. I have voiced the most likely scenario, from my point of view $70-85 per barrel is a price that suits everyone. Therefore, despite possible geopolitical risks, I expect a certain price stability for our countries.

- What about the events in the Middle East and the probable involvement of Iran in the war - do these factors have any impact on pricing?

- No doubt, the impact exists. However, I should like to remind you that cost of a barrel is even more affected by shale oil production and the development of small oil companies, who are flexible enough to react to the current situation. Geopolitical threats always exist, they affect oil prices, but new technologies compensate for these risks.

- Last year, the International Energy Agency said that OPEC should be wary of rising oil prices because it could hurt the global economy and accelerate the transition from fossil fuels to clean energy. That is, rising prices could reduce demand for fuel and push consumers to use electricity and other renewable energy sources.

- I think that we should not expect an abrupt transition to green energy. Besides, many countries have already become disillusioned with it, because now it is simply expensive. Expensive energy means a loss of competitive advantages and increased costs. The practice of recent years has shown that OPEC+ pursues a balanced policy. The oil price corridor, wh ere we have lived for the last two years, i.e. $75-85 per barrel is rather comfortable both for supply and demand. I think that this OPEC+ policy will continue in the coming year.

- Meanwhile, Azerbaijan is developing “green” energy, and this year our country will host an important event - the Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP29).

- In my opinion, this is very important and correct. “Green energy is a topic that must be addressed in a consistent and systematic manner, especially for oil-exporting countries that have a “safety cushion” in terms of national funds that accumulate oil revenues. The main thing is that it should not result in any structural distortions. It is the evolutionary development that is needed.

- What do you think about Angola's recent withdrawal from OPEC? Won’t that weaken the organization?

- I think that the core of OPEC and its expanded version OPEC+ is a club of monetary interests. Even non-member countries of this cartel will impose certain self-restrictions on oil production. After all, price stability is extremely important to prevent slowdown of the global economy, while maintaining a price corridor comfortable enough for everyone. The departure of one country will not affect the position of OPEC and non-members of this organization. All will agree on the volume of daily oil production.