OPEC Leaders Foresee Oil Price Surging Again
Source: AllAfrica.com (3/23/09)
". . .disappearance of credit lines and a $100 collapse in the oil price. . .resulted in a 12% drop in energy infrastructure investment worldwide."
The Saudi Arabian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Energy and Industry, Abdullah bin Hamad Al Attiyah, said at the OPEC meeting in Vienna at the weekend that members face a major setback on the recent recovery indicators in the economic downturn from surging oil prices, citing a sharp drop in investment in the sector.
"The risk is this cycle of energy boom and bust could be more exaggerated than previous swings, as spare production capacity remains limited, even though shrinking economic output has destroyed fuel demand," he noted.
The country's Oil Minister, Ali bin Ibrahim Al Nuaimi, said Saudi Arabia would continue investing through the downturn, though he warned of a potentially catastrophic supply crunch, as others cut back.
"The painful result (of the lack of investment now) would be felt sooner rather than later. It would effectively take the wheels off an already derailed economy," he said during the seminar.
Though Nuaimi has repeatedly said an average of $75 per barrel was needed to ensure all parties spent enough on ensuring future supplies, oil has continued to sell below the present average of $45 per barrel.
Industry analysts have estimated the disappearance of credit lines and a $100 collapse in the oil price since a record level of $147 per barrel price last July resulted in a 12% drop in energy infrastructure investment worldwide.
OPEC Secretary General, Abdullah Al Badri, restates his view earlier this year that 35 of OPEC's 150 new production projects have been delayed.
Like Nuaimi and other OPEC ministers, Badri also said oil needed to be sold at about $75 to guarantee further investments.