Oil remains one of the world’s most important commodities. Since nobody knows how long it’s going to take to get the pandemic really under control, there’s a lot of uncertainty around the direction of oil prices.

The Oil Price Surge

The crude oil market’s year-long recovery from the oil demand crash of 2020 is now in motion as West Texas Intermediate (WTI) and Brent moved closer to $60 early this year. As of writing, it is now at $63.55 and amid the current oil price surge in the market, people seem to be interested in investing. Meanwhile, Morgan Stanley said visible stockpiles have fallen by 3.6 million barrels a day over the past few months, while prices further out along the futures curve are climbing.


  • The majority (78.56%) of the respondents said that they are aware of the oil price surge in the market.
  • Almost 39% think that oil price will go up to $50-$55 per barrel this year.
  • Over 33% believe the supply and demand of oil amid the pandemic have a huge impact on the oil price movement.
  • Just over 32% have deemed that the oil surge is very likely to continue this year.

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From a total of 300,000 respondents, 78.56% of the respondents said they are aware of the current oil price surge in the market while only 21.44% responded ‘no’. With that said, let’s see how the respondents think about investing in the oil market, the causes of oil price fluctuation, and the oil price forecast for 2021.

Investing in The Oil Market

Have you invested in oil?
Figure 1. Have you invested in oil?

Investing in oil markets means investors have several arrays of options. From indirect exposure via an energy-related stock to more direct investment in a commodity-linked ETF, the energy sector has something for almost everyone. Regardless of the underlying reasons for changes in oil prices, investors indeed want to capitalize on energy price fluctuations and invest in the oil market.

When asked if the respondents have invested in oil, 46.24% said ‘yes’. This means that a lot of people are actually interested in this commodity. On the other hand, it seems many people haven’t tried investing in oil as we got 53.76% of respondents who answered ‘no’.

Which of the following oil market indexes have you invested in?
Figure 2. Which of the following oil market indexes have you invested in?

Moreover, a lot of oil market indexes caught the attention of investors. When asked which of the following oil market indexes responders have invested in, the number one choice on the list went to WTI with 30.60%. This was followed by Brent Crude as the second choice with 19.73% and then Mars US as the third choice with 8.75%.

Respectively, Opec Basket is also one of the indexes that investors are currently interested in. With 5.54% this goes in the fourth place, then Indian Basket (3.90%), and DME Oman (3.14%), Canadian Crude Index (2.64%). This left Mexican Basket at 0.90% and ‘others’ with 4.99% responses.

Causes of Oil Price Fluctuation

Which of the following scenarios can have a huge impact on the oil price movement?
Figure 3. Which of the following scenarios can have a huge impact on the oil price movement?

There are a lot of causes of oil price fluctuations. As a commodity, the oil price in the market depends more on supply and demand. When asked what are some scenarios that can have a huge impact on the oil price movement, the majority agreed to this fact as 33.18% of them responded ‘supply and demand amid COVID-19’.

22.73% of the respondents believe that ‘tighter global supplies’ can also have a huge impact on the oil price movement. While 19.43% think ‘Saudi Arabia’s unilateral output cuts’ can indeed affect the price movement for oil. Some 8.21% think ‘domestic crude production’ can also have an impact.

In your opinion, which of the following leading oil producers can affect the oil price movement the most?
Figure 4. In your opinion, which of the following leading oil producers can affect the oil price movement the most?

The leading oil producers in the world are responsible for most of the world’s production of crude oil. This includes lease condensate, unfinished oils, refined products obtained from the processing of crude oil, and natural gas plant liquids. With that said, we asked, which of the following leading oil producers can most affect the oil price movement?

First, 31.84% of respondents think it is the United States that can affect the oil price movement greatly. The United States has been the top oil-producing country in the world for six years now. With an average of 19.47 million barrels per day (b/d), this accounts for 19% of the world’s production.

Next, 26.46% think it is Saudi Arabia which seems relevant because it is actually this country that contributes 11.62 million barrels per day, representing 12% of the world’s total crude oil production. Saudi Arabia is the only member of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to make this list. Meanwhile, we have Russia with 13.69%, Canada with 5.64%, China with 3.93%, and others with 18.45%. 

Oil Price Forecast 2021/2022

When asked how likely the oil price surge in the market will continue this year, 32.39% agree that it is very likely the oil price will go up. 23.60% answered it is somewhat likely to continue, while 16.03% believe it is somewhat unlikely to happen. 16.74% are unsure and 11.23% do not agree that the oil price surge will continue this 2021.

In 2020, the average daily price for WTI was $39.16 per barrel (bbl). That was nearly $20/bbl lower than in 2019. This year, it’s almost certain that WTI will average higher than it did last year, but it’s doubtful that it will average as much as it did in 2019.

The spot price of WTI is currently at $63/bbl. It is said by the experts that demand is still trending lower than it was a year ago which means it has some risk of prices falling further. On the other hand, the Organization of OPEC will likely be a cap on the high side. Thus, experts predict that the average annual price for WTI from 2021 to 2022 will be between $50/bbl and $55/bbl or higher than that if everything goes well with the economy and pandemic.

In your opinion, how high can oil prices go this year on average?
Figure 5. In your opinion, how high can oil prices go this year on average?

We asked the respondents’ opinions on oil prices increasing this year. In response, 38.90% of them agree that, on average, it would be around $50-$55. Meanwhile, 22.05% believe that the oil price per barrel can go up to $56-$60.

On a positive note, 18.43% think that the average oil price this year would go up to $61-$65 per barrel. While others believe it can go within the average range of $66-$70 per barrel. Lastly, 10.23% say it can go over $71 per barrel.


Survey TitlePublic Opinion on the Momentum of Oil Price
DurationMarch 7-10, 2021
Number of Participants300,000
DemographicsMales and females, aged 19 to 60+
Participating CountriesAfghanistan, Algeria, American Samoa, Andorra, Angola, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, AzerbaijanBahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belgium, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Estonia, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Haiti, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Israel, Italy, Ivory Coast, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Latvia, Lebanon, Libya, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Malta, Mauritania, Mexico, Moldova, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar [Burma], Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Nigeria, North Korea, Oman, Pakistan, Palestine, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Seychelles, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Somalia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Vietnam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe