MUSCAT: The price of oil barrel may range between $60 to $70 by the end of 2017; which marks moving towards a balance between supply and demand. This was stated by Salim bin Nasser al Oufi, Under-Secretary of the Ministry of Oil and Gas, during the fourth version of Middle East Oil Conference. He hoped that 2018 will be a better year for oil exporters and consumers. The conference is hosted by the Sultanate represented by the Ministry of Oil and Gas. A number of companies are taking part in the two-day conference to share views and experiences at a time the oil prices are falling. Participants will also discuss oil price trends following the agreement between Opec and non-Opec members to cut production.
“Petrol consumption in the Sultanate has declined by 4 per cent despite forecasts of increase. This means that the consumption is less and the supply is more. The prices are affected by supply and demand forces, as well as crude oil prices,” he added. Al Oufi said that there is no consensus among analysts and experts regarding oil prices trends or the challenges facing oil prices, such as falling reserves and cutting production for a long period. This conference provides an opportunity to share views among market analysts and oil marketers, he said and added that if prices move towards recovery, the oil companies will surely pump more investments in the sector.
He affirmed that such conferences contribute in encouraging investments and marketing oil products. They also give optimistic vision on prices. Regarding liquefied gas project, he said that the project is going on as planned as it is still in the beginning stage and is expected to become operational by early 2019. The project is linked to other projects, such as Rabab Harweel of Petroleum Development Oman (PDO). The project will provide additional quantities of liquefied gas to meet the market needs, especially in the Governorate of Dhofar which is closer to the project compared to Muscat.
After meeting the local market needs, the surplus will be exported to international markets through Salalah Port. “The oil sector has been developing during the boom time and that the implementation of major projects is going well without any change. In some cases, the Ministry of Oil and Gas, in coordination with contractors, has amended some designs and plans,” he added. — ONA