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Fear keeps oil prices stubbornly high

The UAE’s income from oil exports last year topped $100 billion, according to market estimates

Gulf News

Dubai: The UAE economy is widely expected to benefit from yet another year of windfall of oil export income in 2012 as surging global crude demand and supply fears keep prices at stubbornly high levels, say experts.

The UAE’s income from oil exports last year topped $100 billion (Dh367.8 billion), according to market estimates. This year too, the high oil prices will contribute towards maintaining the budgetary balance. The country exported, on average, about 2.3 million barrels of oil per day in 2011.

Saudi Arabia’s Oil Minister, Ali Al Naimi, has said he sees a prolonged period of high oil prices. The  world’s largest crude exporter stood ready to use its spare capacity to supply the market with any additional requirements.

Brent traded above $120 a barrel last Friday and has risen about 13 per cent this year, as tightening US and European sanctions target exports from Iran.

“Geopolitical tensions might continue to influence prices on the bullish side and the Iranian nuclear talks in the coming weeks will be a first and strong indication on where we will be heading in the coming months with regard to the risk premium,” Samuel Ciszuk, consultant at the UK-based KBC Process Technology Ltd, told Gulf News.