Global Energy Sector Mixed


". . .the energy market remains 'extremely volatile.'"

Sentiments regarding the global energy sector are mixed with militant amnesty in the Niger Delta and economic recovery contributing a modest rise in oil prices.

Oil prices collapsed in the latter part of 2008, giving up more than $100 per barrel from July highs of more than $147 per barrel.

Saudi Arabia says it sees $75 per barrel as a "fair" price as ministers from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries prepare for their next regular meeting on Sept. 9.

Eugen Weinberg with the German investment firm Commerzbank notes the trends in oil prices are a sign of an economic recovery, though analysts at the Kuwaiti Global Investment House say the energy market remains "extremely volatile."

The U.S. Transportation Department reported last week Americans traveled 2% more in July than they did in the same month in 2008 in a sign the largest economy in the world was moving out of recession.

U.S. crude inventories, however, dropped 8.4 million barrels in the week ending Aug. 14, though stockpiles remained high as the economy put pressure on energy demand.

With Niger Delta militants handing over their weapons as part of a government amnesty deal, however, it is uncertain how much of the recovery in oil is attributed to the economy or industrial factors, reports Emirati newspaper The National.

"Despite some encouraging signs, there are significant challenges left for the world economy and the recovery process is likely to be a slow one," said Global Investment House.

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