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Low investments pose challenge for oil industry - minister

Oman's Minister of Oil and Gas Mohammed Al-Rumhi
Oman's Minister of Oil and Gas Mohammed Al-Rumhi
KUWAIT, April 16 (KUNA) -- Oman's Minister of Oil and Gas Mohammed Al-Rumhi said Monday decrease in investments volume of oil production operations poses a major challenge for the industry.
Al-Rumhi made his remarks in his speech at opening of the Fifth Kuwait Oil and Gas Conference and Exhibition.
However, OPEC member-states' commitment to the oil output cut agreement, which began in January 2017, helped bring back investments to their pre low-levels, especially with the recent recovery of the prices, he noted.
The Omani minister expressed his gratitude to Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and rest of OPEC and non-OPEC member-countries, particularly Russia, for taking part in the output cut deal.
The agreement contributed significantly in the recovery of oil markets and prices, he said, adding commitment to it was the key for the recovery.
"We owe you a great deal of appreciation for your efforts and contribution in the recent recovery in the oil markets," Al-Rumhi said, noting the desired stabilized situation is yet to be reached, but, nevertheless, "it is much better today than yesterday." "Uncertainties remain a major burden on our shoulders. However, I am very optimistic about the coming years and they will be good ones," said the Omani senior official.
Oil prices have fallen sharply over the past 40 years, reaching its lowest level in 2017, he said, urging participants of the output cut agreement to continue dialogue, understanding, cooperation, and commitment in order to protect the market and attract further investments.
"Oil markets have faced lesser challenges in the past on sporadic periods. However, these challenges have become bigger and more difficult now, especially with the fast political and economic changes taking place in the world," said Al-Rumhi.
OPEC was not ready and prepared for the oil prices slump in 2014, he said, adding that it took the organization two years to find ways to deal with the crisis, which is a very long time.
OPEC members should deal with such crisis in the best way that secures the interests of all sides, including producers and consumers, Al-Rumhi said.
Despite the challenges and difficulties facing safety and security of the oil industry; it remains on demand and that OPEC members' role will be very pivotal in the coming years, said the Omani minister. (end) asj.ma