Oil trader Andurand up 8 percent on year; sees $25 oil by March

Thu Dec 17, 2015 5:41pm EST
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By Simon Jessop and Barani Krishnan

LONDON/NEW YORK (Reuters) - Prominent oil trader Pierre Andurand is betting crude prices will fall, possibly below $25 a barrel, in the first quarter of 2016, and has told his investors in his hedge fund he was ramping up bearish bets.

London-based Andurand Capital Management, which runs some $615 million, was up 8 percent in the year to Dec. 11, mostly from winning short bets on oil, a source familiar with the matter said on Thursday.

In a letter reviewing the fund's performance through November, Andurand said he was convinced oil markets will grind lower in the next two to three months and was accumulating put positions to benefit from lower prices.

"Recent developments on the supply side continue to point toward inventory builds that will put pressure on oil prices to bring them further down to below $30/bbl (barrel) and possibly at/below $25/bbl in the first quarter of 2016," Andurand wrote in the letter, seen by Reuters on Thursday.

Banks such as Goldman Sachs and Citigroup are among those that have said the global glut in oil could push crude to $20 levels, from highs above $100 seen in July 2014.

Leading crude benchmark Brent LCOc1 settled on Thursday at $37.06 a barrel, less than $1 above its 2004 low of $36.40.

U.S. crude's West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures CLc1 closed at $34.95 a barrel, after hitting a seven-year low of $34.53 earlier in the week.

Andurand said he expected oil inventories to ramp up in the first half of 2016, and global supply to build at a rate of 1.6 million barrels a day.   Continued...

A gas nozzle is used to pump petrol at a station in New York February 22, 2011. Oil prices rose to their highest in 2-1/2 years on Tuesday as investors worried that the revolt in Libya could spread to top Middle East producers, as companies suspended operations and ports were disrupted. 
REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton