MOSCOW (Sputnik) — An oversupply of crude oil will continue to weigh down the global market for the remainder of the year, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said Friday.
"We can see that the imbalance of the early months of this year will somewhat decrease by the year-end, but the oil glut in the market will remain," Novak told journalists.
Novak reaffirmed the ministry’s earlier forecast that oil prices will stay in the $40-50 bracket, but added that market volatility looked set to continue into next year. The Russian Energy Ministry expects that the market will return to balance by the second half of 2017.
Supply and demand imbalance in the global oil market will even out by mid-2017, according to Novak.
"We see that the imbalance [between supply and demand in the oil market] is still not eliminated. We expect, I think, that it will happen only in the middle of the next year," Novak said.
He added that fundamental factors did not allow to say that the price of oil would be above $50 per barrel, and that the Russian Energy Ministry would thus not adjust its forecast for oil prices standing at $40-50 per barrel in 2016.
"If we talk about the fundamental factors, they certainly do not allow us to say that oil prices will be higher than $50 dollars," the minister said.