Steve Gelsi
MarketWatch
March 7, 2008

NEW YORK (MarketWatch) — With $100-a-barrel here for now, Goldman Sachs says $200 a barrel could be a reality in the not-too-distant future in the case of a “major disruption.”

Goldman on Friday also boosted by $10 the low end of its 2008-2012 projected range for crude to $60 a barrel — significantly lower than current prices, to be sure, but a possible mark for oil if “normalized” trends return to the marketplace.

With the dollar’s fall continuing and financial markets roiled by the credit crunch, commodities like oil have been drawing the fancy of increasing numbers of investors. Accordingly, Wall Street firms have been eager to adjust forecasts to incorporate fresh data on the global economy and energy supplies.

Goldman analysts Arjun Murti, Kevin Koh and Michele della Vigna said prices have advanced more quickly than Goldman had forecast back in 2005, when it predicted a range of $50 to $105 a barrel as part of its “super-spike” oil theory.

“We characterized the upper end of the band as more likely to be driven by geopolitical turmoil and that recession was a key risk to our view,” the analysts said. “In fact, oil prices have reached $100 a barrel without extraordinary turmoil, and the U.S. currently appears to be in recession.”

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