Oil prices will remain at between $65 and $70 a barrel until the end of 2009 before rising further next year, Algerian Energy and Mines Minister Ckakib Khelil said on Saturday.
“The prices will be within a range of $65-$70 until the end of 2009, as consumption of gasoline in the United States will increase in summer, but it is difficult to predict the market,” Khelil was quoted by the official Algerian news agency APS as saying.
“The market remains sensitive to factors such as the value of the U.S. dollar which is currently in decline, or a possible deterioration of the global economy which risks affecting negatively the crude prices.”
“Oil prices are very likely to exceed the level of $70 a barrel from 2010 thanks to a global economic upturn,” he said.
Later on Saturday, Khelil told state television he saw oil prices linked to the world economic health and stock markets.
“If the economy improves, oil prices will improve. The U.S. economy is already improving, experts said, but the European Union economy may improve later, maybe by 2010,” he said.
Khelil, commenting on Russia’s role as independent producer on the market alongside OPEC, said:
“Russia had talked a lot but it did not help OPEC. Russia did nothing. Russia has political objectives but OPEC has economic objectives.”