KUWAIT (Reuters) – Oil was unlikely to fall below $100 per barrel as strong demand from emerging economies such as China and India put a floor under prices, a member of Kuwait’s top oil council said in remarks published on Sunday.
Concerns about the economy of the United States and falling oil demand in developed countries have knocked crude from a July record of $147 a barrel to $125 on Friday.
“I don’t think that prices will return to the record level, nor will they fall below $100 per barrel,” Khaled Boodai told al-Seyassah newspaper.
“I think that the price … will stabilize,” said Boodai, a member of the Gulf Arab state’s Supreme Petroleum Council.
The official reiterated that Kuwait’s proven oil reserves stood at 100 billion barrels.
The size of Kuwait’s reserves has been the topic of public debate since industry newsletter Petroleum Intelligence Weekly (PIW) reported in 2006 that reserves were just 48 billion barrels — about half what was officially stated.
“What some media reported that Kuwait’s oil reserves are less than that is wrong and not based on scientific record, on the contrary, there are new discoveries,” Boodai said.
In June, four Kuwaiti parliament members proposed a bill requiring a detailed update on reserves and linking future output to actual reserves.
If the reserves were lower that officially stated, then the bill could force the OPEC exporter to cut oil output. The bill could only be enacted after approval from parliament and the ruler.
Boodai also reiterated Kuwait aimed to increase output to 4 million bpd by 2020.