“We believe that the robust global oil demand recovery will outpace supply growth over the next 18 months, further draining inventories and setting the stage for higher oil prices,” the bank said in a note dated Sunday.
The bank raised its Brent crude oil price forecast to $68 per barrel from $63 earlier. In 2022, it expects Brent to average $75 per barrel versus its earlier estimate of $60.
The bank noted that U.S. shale will likely respond to these higher prices by ramping up production and Brent would roll back down to average $65 per barrel by 2023.
The oil market will likely remain in deficit for the foreseeable future, averaging a shortfall of 0.9 million barrels per day (bpd) over the next six quarters, it said.
BofA expects consumption growth to rebound strongly this year and next by 5.6 million and 3.6 million bpd respectively, the fastest since at least the 1970s.
While demand is set to recover at a rapid pace in the coming months, the bank cautioned that ample OPEC+ spare capacity and a likely return of Iran barrels will cap oil prices this year.
Oil prices edged higher on Monday, underpinned by strong demand during the summer driving season and a pause in talks to revive the Iran nuclear deal that could lead to a resumption of crude supplies from the OPEC producer.