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OIL SCENARIO.

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The Opec's oil supply in November fell by 340000 barrels per day as a recovery in Libya faltered a Reuters survey found although a lack of deliberate cutbacks by Saudi Arabia and other key members underlines their focus on defending market share.

The group on November 27 decided against cutting production to support prices a departure from its policy of adjusting output to keep crude around $100 a barrel. Prices have slipped since and fell below $68 to the lowest since 2009 on Monday.

Supply from the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries averaged 30.30 million bpd in November down from a revised 30.64 million bpd in October according to the survey based on shipping data and information from sources at oil companies the Opec and consultants. The Opec at its meeting in Vienna retained its output target of 30 million bpd despite its own forecasts of a surplus and calls from members including Iran for output cuts.

Still actual supply has fallen for a second month from September's 30.84 million bpd the highest since November 2012 as conflict in Libyaweighed on its output recovery and makes the future direction hard to predict. "The outlook for Libyan production is completely unclear steered by the situation on the ground" said Sam Ciszuk of the Swedish energy agency. "The Opec sent a very strong signal so it would be strange to see anyone cutting output voluntarily."

As well as a 150000-bpd reduction in Libya Angolan supply declined by 140000 bpd as a result of maintenance at Total's Girassol field the survey found.

SDubai: Standard and Poor's has lowered the outlook for the world's top oil exporter Saudi Arabia to stable from positive and its Gulf partner Oman to negative on sliding oil prices.

However the ratings agency affirmed the strong "AA-/A-1+" long- and short-term foreign and local currency sovereign credit ratings for Riyadh over the "strong external and fiscal positions" it has built up in the past decade when oil prices were too high.

"We base our outlook revision on our view that although real economic growth remains relatively strong we think Saudi Arabia is unlikely to achieve sufficient levels of nominal income to raise the ratings over the next two years" SandP said.

It said low oil prices will place pressure on the kingdom's gross domestic product (GDP) and per capita income which was reduced for the 2014-2017 period to $23400 from $25600 (Dh85878 from Dh93952) in June.

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Publication:Pakistan & Gulf Economist
Geographic Code:7SAUD
Date:Dec 14, 2014
Words:412
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