Saudi Aramco CEO sees year-end oil price recovery

Riyadh: Global crude prices should recover near the end of this year, the president of the world’s biggest oil exporter, Saudi Aramco, said today.

“Our prediction is that we will see some adjustment but it will happen toward the end of this year,” Amin al-Nasser, president and chief executive officer of the state-owned company, told a business forum in the Saudi capital.

Global crude prices have plunged from above USD 100 a barrel in early 2014 to below USD 31 a barrel today.

“I think with low oil prices, demand will hopefully also increase… And as such the gap between supply and demand will start closing,” Nasser told the Global Competitiveness Forum organised by the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority.

Nasser said prices will not return to the USD 100 level but “it will definitely be better than what we are seeing today.”

The price drop led oil-dependent Saudi Arabia to impose unprecedented cuts in its 2016 budget and to push economic diversification.

Authorities are even considering a share listing of Aramco.

The company’s chairman Khalid al-Falih told the same forum yesterday that Aramco is maintaining investments in oil and gas despite cutting costs in other ways to cope with plummeting crude prices.

Saudi Arabia and other members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries have refused to reduce crude output as they seek to drive less-competitive players, including US shale producers, out of the market.