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Energy summit to look at oil prices

business Updated: Mar 29, 2010 23:50 IST
Anupama Airy
Anupama Airy
Hindustan Times
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Energy ministers from more than 60 countries and heads of some of the largest global oil companies such as Exxon Mobil Corp, Royal Dutch Shell, Saudi Aramco are gathering at a three-day International Energy Forum at Cancun in Mexico from Monday to Wednesday. The agenda is to develop strategies to curb crude oil price-volatility, to try and avoid a repeat of the 2008 story, which saw $150-plus price swings that hit most of the world’s top economies.

High volatilities, with oil prices surging to near $150 a barrel in July 2008, had hit most of the oil importing nations and also kept developing economies under pressure from the global economic recession. Thereafter, prices fell to below $33 per barrel in December 2008 as the price rise battered fuel demand in the US and other large consuming oil nations.

Ministers will debate on strategies to limit such volatilities in crude oil prices, said a senior petroleum ministry official of the visiting Indian delegation headed by Petroleum Minister Murli Deora.

The Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), the oil producers’ cartel body, said in a report released ahead of this oil conference that oil prices could stay in the $70-80 range in the next decade. For the next decade, nominal prices will stay in the $70-80 a barrel, and $70-$100 a barrel in the long term, the paper said.

The 12th International Energy Forum is also being attended by Saudi Arabian Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi, US Deputy Energy Secretary Daniel Poneman and Kuwaiti’s Oil Minister Sheikh Ahmad Abdullah Al-Sabah. Saudi Arabia is the world’s biggest oil exporter, the US is the largest consumer.

Disclaimer: For this story, the author’s travel, boarding and lodging was provided by ONGC Videsh Ltd.