A drop in shale oil production has triggered a rebound of global oil prices, but prices will not rise sharply as long as the world’s economy stays sluggish, Kuwaiti Oil Minister Ali al-Omair was quoted as saying by state news agency KUNA.
Many factors are affecting oil prices, including violence in Iraq and Libya, KUNA quoted Omair as saying late on Saturday during a visit to Bahrain for an energy industry conference.
Reduction of output will not have a major impact without a global economic recovery that would spur demand, he added.
He said projections showed prices might improve this year, but added that they might also stay between $50 and $60 a barrel. Brent crude oil closed Friday just below $60, up from lows near $45 hit in mid-January.
Asked about OPEC’s decision last November to maintain output instead of cutting it in an effort to support prices, Omair said it “was not a hostile resolution but balanced”.
The issue of oil’s drop is the collective responsibility of all oil producing countries, both OPEC and non-OPEC, he added without elaborating.
Last week, Saudi Arabia’s oil minister Ali al-Naimi said he expected oil prices to stabilise as supply and demand balanced, and urged non-OPEC producers to help balance the market.