Conference Board taking cautious view on oil prices

CALGARY — The Conference Board of Canada says it’s taking a cautious view of crude prices, even though they’ve improved substantially since the beginning of the year.The key U.S. benchmark, West Texas Intermediate, has been hovering around the US$60 mark for the past few months after dipping as low as US$44 in January.The Ottawa-based economic think-tank expects WTI to gradually recover over the next few months, but remain below US$65 a barrel even by the end of 2015.Why nobody will win in this shoving match between oil’s superpowersOil rollercoaster to continueThat’s welcome in Canada’s oil industry, where many drillers can’t make ends meet with oil below US$50 and still struggle in the US$60 range.The board says although a drop back to US$50 a barrel is unlikely, the days of US$100 crude are becoming an increasingly distant memory.There are risks that could cause a pullback, like high U.S. inventory levels, greater Saudi production and a surge in U.S. shale production.