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Tue 4 Sep 2018 09:29 AM

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Oil prices won't go above $80, says Oman minister

Oil and gas minister Mohammed bin Hamad Al Rumhy expressed concern over the impact on Chinese demand of a US-China trade war

Oil prices won't go above $80, says Oman minister
Omani oil and gas minister Mohammed bin Hamad Al Rumhy.

Oil prices are unlikely to rise above $80 per barrel this year, according to Omani oil and gas minister Mohammed bin Hamad Al Rumhy.

In an interview with CNBC, Al Rumhy said that he believes that “for the rest of this year we should see stability between $70 and the high 70s, or low 70s to high 70s”.

“Because this is the wish of all of us who are cooperating with OPEC to provide the market with enough crude to make sure that the consumers are not impacted and we think that the current price is a fair prices,” he added.

The current price of oil, he added, will enable countries to “maintain their investment” and “give us a guarantee of some form that the future is brighter when the price was in the $30s an $40s a few years ago.”

Trade war impact

In his remarks, the minister also said he didn’t agree with analyst forecasts that oil prices could rise as high as $90 a barrel.

Additionally, the minister warned of a potential impact on prices caused by a drop in Chinese demand stemming from its trade war with the United States.

“People often focus on the supply side - what happens if Iran stops supplying – but what happens if China reduces its consumption? So we are looking at both sides of this discussion,” he said.

“If there is a serious trade disagreement between the US and China the Chinese consumption of energy will be impacted negatively from our point of view and the ability to produce and export will be impacted,” he added.

"I think, and many people agree with me, that the demand will be impacted so that’s not good for us.”

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