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Producers and consumers ponder curbing crude prices

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Producers and consumers ponder curbing crude prices

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What to do about rocketing oil prices? That is the big question at a conference of energy producing and consuming countries this Sunday. The meeting, in Jeddah, was called by Saudi Arabia, the world’s top oil exporter. Chief executives of oil majors, including BP, Shell and Conocophillips will attend, along with energy ministers.

China, the world’s second largest user of oil, is sending a high level delegation led by the country’s vice president. The Asia Pacific region – including China, India and Japan – takes 30% of the world’s output. North America – the US, Canada and Mexico – uses 29% and 17% goes to the European Union. Demand this year is expected to be almost 86.8 million barrels per day.

With demand still rising and geopolitical tensions adding to the problem, trader Anthony Grisanti believes more records are going to be shattered. He said: “We’re going to be a lot higher two months from now and $150 could be in our rear-view mirror at that point. And the other thing we have to look at, of course, in the summer, is hurricane season,if we’re not lucky again, watch out, we could see $180 or $200 dollar barrels of oil.”

And this weekend’s meeting in Saudi Arabia is not expected to prevent prices rising. OPEC participants in the conference said it is not likely to lead to further increase in production, which top consumer nations, like the US, have said is essential to cut the cost of crude.