16:41 GMT08 April 2020
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    Oil Prices Slump, Coronavirus Fears Send Global Economy Into Turmoil (56)
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    The Norwegian krone has reached a “record weak” level, as global oil prices have been slashed in half since New Year.

    Oil prices may plummet further and the oil industry sector is facing a difficult year, Norway's Jarand Rystad, who is seen as one of the world's leading oil analysts, has predicted.

    “This is the most dramatic event I have experienced. Then you can think of such events as the financial crisis, Chernobyl and the 1986 oil crisis”, Rystad, the CEO and founder of Rystad Energy, told the newspaper Dagens Næringsliv.

    On Wednesday, the price of North Sea oil fell by 14 percent to $24.67 per barrel, reaching its nadir since 2003.

    Rystad expects the coronavirus pandemic and the “price war” between Saudi Arabia and Russia to replenish supplies, forcing prices down to a level of between $15 and $10 per barrel.

    “Then you have to turn off the valve. We may have to pay to get rid of the oil”, Rystad ventured.

    However, he also predicted a light at the end of the tunnel.

    “But if the oil price stays this low for a year and a half, it will be the best basis for creating a huge oil price spike afterwards. The deeper we go, the bigger the recoil”, Rystad commented.

    Rystad's calculation is that the Norwegian oil industry is facing a tough period until a violent surge in 2022/2023.

    Norway is one of the world's leading exporters of crude oil. The oil and gas sector constitutes around 18 percent of the country's GDP and wholly 62 percent of Norwegian exports.

    The turmoil on the international oil market plunged the already weakened Norwegian krone to new depths. The dollar has appreciated against the krone from NOK 8.76 per dollar around New Year to 11.65 this week, signalling a “record weak” krone. For the sake of comparison, the dollar was worth around NOK 6 between 2009 and 2014.

    “It can go even weaker. There is no bottom”, Nordkinn Asset Management chief analyst Bjørn Roger Wilhelmsen told the news outlet E24.

    “It's about OPEC and Russia announcing increased production. The oil market will be swamped by oil”, Nordea Markets strategist Joachim Bernhardsen told E24, explaining the recent downfall.

    The global oil prices have fallen from around $66 around New Year to well below $30 following the OPEC+ failure to agree on production cuts amid global pandemic concerns – the biggest fall since the 1991 Gulf War. This triggered what many see as a price war, as Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Russia all moved to boost their output by several million barrels per day.

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    Oil Prices Slump, Coronavirus Fears Send Global Economy Into Turmoil (56)

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