Oman's oil minister expects oil prices between $65-$75 a barrel

The Arabian Gulf country is committed to Opec+ oil producton cuts

Oman Oil Minister Mohammed bin Hamad Al Rumhy and Sri Lanka's Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe attend the groundbreaking ceremony for a $3.85 billion oil refinery project in the village of Mirijjawila in Hambantota, Sri Lanka March 24, 2019. REUTERS/Dinuka Liyanawatte

Oman, an oil producer outside Opec, expects crude prices to hover around $65 to $75 a barrel until the end of this year.

The country’s energy minister Mohammed Al Rumhi told the state-run Oman News Agency on Saturday he is satisfied with the current level of oil prices.

Oman is also committed to the agreement of the Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee, which monitors compliance with oil production by members of the Opec+ alliance, till the end of this year, he added.

The country will exit the JMMC after completing its two-year membership of the body, he added.

Opec+, which was formed in 2016 in response to the drop in oil prices to below $30 a barrel in the first quarter of that year, is trimming 1.2 million barrels of oil per day for a six-month period that started in January. The alliance will meet next in June to decide whether to extend the cuts.

The agreement has helped to prop up oil prices, with the benchmark Brent June contract settled up 48 cents, or 0.72 per cent, to $67.58 a barrel on Friday. Oil is on track this month for its biggest quarterly rise since 2009 on the back of the Opec+ cuts and US sanctions against Iran and Venezuela, two Opec producers.

The May Brent crude oil futures contract, which expired Friday, gained 57 cents, or 0.8 per cent, to settle at $68.39 a barrel, marking a first-quarter gain of 27 per cent.

US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures rose 84 cents, or 1.4 per cent, to $60.14 a barrel, and posted a rise of 32 per cent in the January-March period.

For the two benchmarks, the quarterly rise was the biggest since the second quarter of 2009, when both gained about 40 per cent.

Oman is also considering taking up to a 30 per cent stake in a new refinery in Sri Lanka, the minister added.

In February the Arabian Gulf country produced an average of 971,356 bpd of oil and condensate, which is a light oil that fetches a higher price than standard crude.

China imported over 80 per cent of Oman’s crude.

Petroleum Development Oman, the main oil producer in the country, plans to boost production to 670,000 barrels per day in the next five years, up from 610,170 bpd achieved in 2018, the highest output since 2005.