Kuwait Minister Sees Stable Oil Markets
07/11/2012| 10:16am US/Eastern
--Oil markets "stable" despite the tough Western sanctions on Iran and Norway's oil strike
--Kuwait Oil Min: crude markets have abundant supplies that exceed demand
--Kuwait needs an oil price of $65 a barrel to balance its budget, according to government officials
DUBAI--Global crude oil markets are "sort of stable" despite the tough Western sanctions on Iran and Norway's oil strike, Kuwait's Oil Minister Hani Hussein said in remarks published Wednesday.
"The markets are sort of stable despite the several global events that are negatively impacting oil prices, such as the sanctions on Iranian crude or the fear of [supply disruption] due to the strikes in Norway," Mr. Hussein said, according to the state-run Kuwait News Agency, or KUNA.
"We hope that prices will stabilize in the coming period for the benefit of the consumers and producers," he said.
Mr. Hussein, who is considered one of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries' more consumer-friendly members, has said recently that the international crude markets have abundant supplies that exceed demand, but there are no signs to be alarmed as of now.
Kuwait, which produces around 3 million barrels a day, is one of the richest countries in the world with 2011 per capita income of over $40,700 estimated by the International Monetary Fund. The country needs an oil price of $65 a barrel to balance its budget, according to government officials.
"The ministries of oil and finance are always keen on having a conservative oil price (in the budget), especially now that oil prices are volatile throughout the year," Mr. Hussein said, adding that Kuwait is not affected by oil prices dropping below $100 a barrel.
OPEC agreed in June to maintain its existing oil-production ceiling of 30 million barrels a day and pledged to rein-in overproduction after some members complained that a glut of oil could lead to a price crash. Since its last meeting, Iran and Algeria have called for an emergency meeting to discuss prices, while the group's president, Iraqi Oil Minister Abdul Kareem Luaiby, has already sent a letter to member states reminding them to comply with the ceiling.
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