Brent Below $98, But Saudi Oil Minister Not Worried
Brent crude oil sank farther below $100 on Thursday as global supplies continued to build and demand remained lackluster.
The commodity traded at $97.53 at 11:00 GMT ahead of a meeting between Arab oil ministers set to take place in Kuwait later in the day.
Many were speculating that the ministers would be eager to discuss the commodity’s falling prices at the meeting, as most OPEC nations require oil prices to be above $100 in order to balance their budgets.
However, Bloomberg reported that Saudi Arabian oil minister Ali Al-Naimi told reporters that he was not concerned about crude prices just yet. He said that OPEC had no plans to convene earlier than their scheduled November 27 meeting and that the commodity’s dip was part of normal price fluctuations.
Data from the International Energy Agency showed that OPEC is expected to increase its output by 1.6 million barrels per day through 2014 and add another 1.3 million bpd to that figure by the end of 2015. This coupled with North America’s recent shale oil boom has created a supply glut that cannot be absorbed by global demand at the moment.
Crude could see a lift in the coming days as tension in the Middle East heats up. On Wednesday, the U.S. announced that it would continue with air strikes in Iraq and also expand into Syria, where members of ISIS have taken hold.
Iraq is one of the world’s largest oil producers, and although the nation’s production has remained largely intact so far, an escalation in the fighting would put its southern oilfields at risk.
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