Bloomberg News

Bahrain Favors Crude Oil Prices at $100 a Barrel, Minister Says

February 14, 2012

Feb. 14 (Bloomberg) -- Bahrain’s energy minister said he would prefer oil prices to remain close to current levels, which allow producers to invest in output capacity without putting economic growth in the west at risk.

Prices of $110 a barrel or more may “derail recoveries in a number of fragile Western economies,” Abdul Hussain Ali Mirza said yesterday in an e-mailed response to questions. Bahrain is a member of the Gulf Cooperation Council, along with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

“Bahrain, along with the other producers within GCC prefers to see the prices return to more reasonable levels, say around the $100 a barrel range,” the minister said. “Such prices would ease the West out of the economic problem and at the same time would incentivize the producing nations to invest in the necessary infrastructure to increase their producing capability.”

Brent crude averaged about $112.73 a barrel this year on the ICE Futures Europe exchange in London, while West Texas Intermediate futures traded at an average of $99.68 on the New York Mercantile Exchange in the same period.

Bahrain, the smallest oil producer in the Persian Gulf, is seeking to boost output of both crude oil and natural gas. Bahrain Petroleum Co., the state-run refiner, increased production to a monthly record of 271,300 barrels of oil a day in November, topping the previous record of 270,300 barrels in May 2008, Mirza said.

--With assistance from Anthony Dipaola in Dubai. Editors: Rachel Graham, Raj Rajendran

To contact the reporter on this story: Donna Abu Nasr in Dubai at dabunasr@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew J. Barden at barden@bloomberg.net


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