Oil ministers in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Monday rebuffed concerns from the International Monetary Fund that the global slump in oil prices will have a “deteriorating” effect on Middle East countries’ current account balances.
The price of crude oil has slumped from a high of $114 a barrel last June to currently trade just below the $50-mark but oil ministers in the Middle East, where many major oil producers are located, appear sanguine about the decline.
On Monday, Saudi’s vice oil minister said long-term oil market fundamentals remain robust but prolonged low prices could threaten security of supply and pave the way for a price spike.
Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said “for a major reserve holder, oil producer and exporter such as Saudi Arabia, our focus has always been on the long-term trends shaping the oil market,” in a speech at an Asian energy conference in the Qatari capital Doha, reported by Reuters.
“Rather than being a commodity in decline, as some would like to portray, supply and demand patterns indicate that the long-term fundamentals of the oil complex remain robust,” he added.