Global growth likely to drift
Minister of Energy Mohammad Bin Dha’en Al Hameli said yesterday that world economic growth might taper off a bit next year, but didn’t say if he saw that impacting global oil production or crude prices. “Next year, the economic growth may be the same [as this year] more or less, or a little less,” Al Hameli told reporters when asked about his outlook on the global oil market next year.
Al Hameli was speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a meeting of Gulf Cooperation Council oil ministers in the capital. He also said that the UAE, on average, was producing about 2.6 million barrels of oil per day in December. Separately, Mohammad Al Busairi, Kuwait’s oil minister, said his country had on average produced more then 3 million barrels of oil per day during December and would keep output at that rate if the demand persisted.
Al Busairi also told Gulf News that current production of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) of 30.4 million barrels per day is sufficient to balance the oil market. “The market is now balanced. The prices are fair as they rely on supply and demand, which set the price,” said Al Busairi. GCC member countries hold 60 percent of the world’s oil reserves, he said. “For this reason, the GCC states have to hold regular meetings to coordinate stances and unify their strategic vision in light of the international developments,” he added.
Earlier this month, OPEC members agreed to keep the group’s oil output at 30 million barrels per day, their first new production limit in three years. The implementation of the OPEC production ceiling would create “strong upside risks” to oil prices next year, analysts at Goldman Sachs Group said in a note to clients. “We continue to expect that oil demand will grow well in excess of production capacity growth,” said Goldman Sachs at the time.
Oil prices rose for a fifth straight day on Friday, on concerns about potential supply disruptions in Iran and Iraq and recent signs of a strengthening US economy. US February crude rose 15 cents to settle at $99.68 a barrel, reaching $100.23 intra-day. Front-month US crude rose 6.57 percent for the week, the biggest weekly gain since the week to October 28. Crude trading volumes were very thin ahead of the Christmas holiday and the approaching new year. US dealings were 76 percent below the 30-day average and Brent 69 percent under its 30-day average.