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International Energy Chief Predicts $100 Oil in 2010-2015

Reuters cites Fatih Birol's predictions on oil prices

International Energy Chief Predicts $100 Oil in 2010-2015

International Energy Agency chief economist Fatih Birol told an energy conference that he saw downward pressure on oil prices in 2009 but said he expected prices to move up again in 2010 with a recovery in the world economy.

Oil is on track for a nearly 60 percent loss this year, the biggest annual fall since futures began trading 25 years ago.

Oil prices rose above $40 a barrel on Monday, up nearly 8 percent on the previous session, after violence between Iarael and Hamas served as a reminder of tensions that could threaten crude supplies from the Middle East.

Energy investments have taken a hit around the world from the global economic crisis, Birol said.

"The projects aimed to develop oil fields are being postponed. This poses a great risk. Demand will pick up when the world economy starts recovering," he said.

"Because oil supply will be limited due to today's postponed investments, a serious supply-demand problem will emerge in 2010," Birol said.

He expects to see a transition from an energy market dominated by multinational oil companies to a market ruled by national companies, he said.

Birol said that 80 percent of the increase in oil and gas production by 2030 would stem from national companies.

"For that reason, we may see oil and gas prices zigzaging more in the future," he said.

Author: Ksenia Kochneva

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