Kuwait Oil Minister Sees Price Rally Continuing
KUWAIT, Feb 16 (Reuters) - Kuwait's oil minister said on Monday he expected the current oil price rally to continue into the second half of 2015 as the global supply surplus shrinks.
"I think it will last," Ali al-Omair said of the recent rise in oil prices, speaking on the sidelines of an energy event.
"It will start holding gains now and hopefully in the second half of 2015 we will see better prices," he told reporters.
Omair also said the current oil surplus was "definitely lower" than 1.8 million barrels per day.
"The surplus is now reducing and some of the production is getting out of the market," he said without elaborating.
Oil prices steadied on Monday with benchmark Brent trading up 3 cents to $61.55 per barrel by 0620 GMT.
That follows strong gains last week when oil markets rose after another drop in the U.S. rig count, pushing Brent back above $60 a barrel for the first time since December.
Despite the price rises, many traders and analysts say little has changed fundamentally to explain the price rebound of the past two weeks. They believe there is a global oversupply of nearly two million barrels per day of crude oil.
Saudi Arabia's oil minister Ali al-Naimi discussed a "relative improvement in the market in terms of an increase in demand and the stability of prices in the current period" with Algeria's justice minister, the official Saudi news agency SPA reported last week.
OPEC forecast demand for its oil this year would be much higher than previously thought, a sign its strategy to let prices fall is starting to win back market share from rivals which are cutting output.
(Reporting by Tom Arnold and Ahmed Haggagy; Writing by Maha El Dahan and Rania El Gamal; Editing by Tom Hogue and Mark Potter)
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