(MENAFN- Muscat Daily) Muscat- The recent declines in oil prices, after touching highest level in three years earlier in January, was not a shock and is not a cause of worry for the sultanate as it was expected, a senior official of the Ministry of Oil and Gas said on Monday.
'I am not disappointed with the recent decline in oil prices. We all know that oil prices fluctuate,' H E Salim bin Nasser al Aufi, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Oil and Gas said.
H E Aufi was speaking to reporters on the sidelines of an inauguration ceremony organised by Qurum Energy Services (QES) to introduce the company's new and advanced cementing units in Oman.
He said the crude prices went up too steeply earlier this year and the rise in prices was not supported by any change in fundamentals. 'In fact, Brent crude prices breached the US$60 per barrel level and even touched US$70 level. But we knew that fundamentals have not changed so much. There is a chance that it (prices) might still come back,' H E Aufi said.
Global oil prices rose sharply in January this year to touch US$70 per barrel, its highest level since December 2014, following the reports that Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) along with a number of other producers agreed to continue the production cuts till the end of 2018. However, later in February, prices began to decline as the shale oil production in the US rose to record highs.
H E Aufi said, 'We are monitoring the market very closely. Our strategy is holding on. OPEC and other supporting countries are still committed to continue the production cuts they announced in late 2016. The same was echoed during the OPEC event which took place in Muscat earlier this year.'
H E Aufi expects oil prices to remain range-bound in 2018. 'Latest indicators show that prices will be fluctuating between US$58 and US$63. This is really as per the expectations. Nothing major has changed.
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