Late in the summer of 2016, I predicted that crude oil prices would be in the mid-$50s by the end of 2016, and the low $60s by the first quarter of 2017.
And at the start of the week of Dec. 12, 2016, West Texas Intermediate sits at just under $54. Frankly, I'm not seeing anything in the market that would force me to revise my forecast right now.
But make no mistake: There is a change underway right now that will only accelerate in 2017. The "rising tide" of crude prices will not "lift all boats" equally. I'm predicting that investors will see some big shifts in the oil markets and where their profits come from.
You see, the source of global oil demand itself is refocusing, and that's where we'll see the biggest changes.
Some players will lose out: The traditional high-dividend "supermajors" - BP, Chevron, ExxonMobil, Royal Dutch Shell, Total SA, Eni, and ConocoPhillips - will see their long-term viability and short-term profitability severely challenged.