How ASX 200 energy stocks could soon enjoy US$100 oil prices

A range of factors are lining up to support higher oil prices, offering tailwinds for ASX 200 energy stocks.

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A return to US$100 oil prices would certainly be welcomed by investors in S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) energy stocks.

Except, perhaps, when they stop at the servo to fill up their cars.

Atop oil and gas prices, a number of other factors will impact how the big ASX energy shares perform over the months ahead.

Woodside Energy Group Ltd (ASX: WDS) shares, for example, could face some headwinds following the recent political shakeup in Senegal.

The ASX 200 energy share's Senaglaese-based Sangomar project could be forced to give more to the government. This news came after newly elected president Bassirou Diomaye Faye said, "The exploitation of our natural resources, which according to the constitution belong to the people, will receive particular attention from my government."

Santos Ltd (ASX: STO), which earlier this year was in failed merger discussions with larger rival Woodside, is now looking to recoup costs incurred from the lengthy legal delays to its offshore Barossa LNG project.

And Beach Energy Ltd (ASX: BPT) shares got pummelled last week after the company reported on major cost blowouts at its Waitsia joint venture project in the Perth Basin.

With that said, all three ASX 200 energy stocks would benefit from a soaring oil price.

ASX 200 energy stocks and US$100 per barrel oil

International benchmark Brent crude oil has been marching higher throughout 2024.

The Brent crude oil price kicked off the year at US$76 per barrel and has since soared 20% to trade for just under US$91 per barrel today.

On the demand side of the equation, global oil demand is expected to increase modestly in 2024 from last year.

But the price pressure lifting the oil price, and potentially ASX 200 energy stocks like Woodside, Beach Energy and Santos, is coming more from the supply side.

Part of that comes from the ongoing output cuts from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and their allies (OPEC+).

Costs and investor jitters are also rising amid the escalation of Houthi attacks on ships in the crucial Red Sea corridor.

Then there are the existing sanctions on Russian oil exports and potential new ones the United States is considering implanting on oil-rich Venezuela.

Mexico is also cutting its oil exports, with Bloomberg reporting a 35% decrease in Mexican oil shipments in March.

If that's not enough, the Middle East conflict could expand to a broader war between Iran and Israel. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said his nation would respond to any attack from Iran.

"The way in which I think it really impacts the broader oil balances is whether Israel responds by looking to attack Iranian energy infrastructure," Greg Sharenow, head of commodity portfolio management at Pacific Investment Management said (quoted by Bloomberg).

Indeed, such a response could send global oil prices soaring and see investors bidding up ASX 200 energy stocks amid hopes of higher profits and dividends.

Ed Morse, a senior adviser at Hartree Partners, added, "What is underpinning the move is financial markets. With the rise in tensions in the Middle East, there certainly is an increase in call buying for Brent."

With this picture in mind, the US Energy Information Administration now expects global crude inventories to fall by 900,000 barrels a day.

As for ASX 200 energy stocks enjoying a return to US$100 per barrel oil, Bob McNally, founder of Rapidan Energy Group said:

It is a market on firm fundamental footing, no question. I think $100 oil is entirely real; it just requires a little more risk pricing on the true geopolitical risk.

Motley Fool contributor Bernd Struben has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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