Qatar Today - - BUSINESS > OIL & GAS -

The re­cent drop in hy­dro­car­bon prices, if sus­tained, could have a sig­nif­i­cant im­pact on the re­gion's eco­nomic and fi­nan­cial in­di­ca­tors.

Bahrain and Oman are the most vul­ner­a­ble to a de­cline in the hy­dro­car­bon mar­ket, while Qatar and the UAE would be largely im­mune to the im­pact, Stan­dard & Poor's said in its “In­dus­try Credit Out­look.”

The rat­ings agency said crude oil spot prices have fallen by more than 25% from their mid-June high. The key driv­ers for the de­clines are likely to be the con­tin­ued sup­ply in­crease in North Amer­ica, the Saudi move to cut crude prices to Asia, the strength­en­ing US dol­lar, and soft­en­ing de­mand from Euro­pean and Asian economies. The re­sump­tion of ship­ments from Libya and con­tin­ued pro­duc­tion from Iraq de­spite con­flicts have also con­trib­uted to the de­creases. In ad­di­tion, Saudi Ara­bia, the most in­flu­en­tial mem­ber of Opec, has not cut out­put to support prices.

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