Qatar sees ‘more bal­anced’ oil mar­ket in sec­ond half

The China Post - - BUSINESS INDEX & -

The global oil mar­ket should be “more bal­anced” in the sec­ond half of the year, Qatar’s en­ergy min­is­ter said Wed­nes­day be­fore an OPEC meet­ing widely ex­pected to leave out­put un­changed.

“The last nine months or so have been par­tic­u­larly chal­leng­ing for the oil in­dus­try,” Mo­hammed Al-Sada said in Vi­enna ahead of Fri­day’s semi-an­nual meet­ing.

“How­ever, there are a num­ber of rea­sons to feel op­ti­mistic about the gen­eral sit­u­a­tion go­ing for­ward ... There should be a more bal­anced mar­ket in the sec­ond half of this year.”

Sada, speak­ing at a two-day OPEC sem­i­nar in­volv­ing in­dus­try fig­ures, said how­ever that the mar­ket was “not out of the woods yet” and that “still a lot of un­cer­tainty” re­mained.

At its last meet­ing in Novem­ber, OPEC’s 12 mem­bers, which pump around 30 per­cent of the world’s oil, kept its of­fi­cial pro­duc­tion tar­get of 30 mil­lion bar­rels per day.

This was de­spite a sharp fall in the price of oil and was seen as an at­tempt to main­tain OPEC’s share of a mar­ket flooded by a vast sup­ply glut caused in part by the boom in U.S. shale oil.

The strat­egy ap­pears to have paid off, an­a­lysts say, with shale oil pro­duc­ers — which have higher pro­duc­tion costs — squeezed and the oil price re­cov­er­ing in re­cent weeks.

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