Oil prices may rise to $70 - $80 by 2010, Says Speaker at DIFC Forum

The price of oil may return to between $70 and $80 as early as 2010, according to an oil industry leader. He was speaking at the DIFC Forum, the second major business conference that forms part of DIFC week, the Dubai International Financial Centre’s prestigious annual series of business events.

Saddad Al Husseini, Former Executive Vice President for Exploration & Production, ARAMCO said: “If we don’t see any major discovery of oil sources, we will see long-term challenges in the supply of oil. By 2010 the price of oil will come back to the 2005 levels of $ 70 to $ 80 per barrel and in the long term will further rise to between $80 and $90.”

He was speaking at the second session of the second day of the DIFC Forum titled ‘At what price? Energy Geopolitics in an Era of Structural Change’. Other speakers included Dr. Herman Franssen, Senior Associate, CSIS Energy and National Securoty Program, and President, International Energy Associates; Raja Sidawi, Chairman, Energy Intelligence; and Nader Sultan, Chairman, Ikraus Petroleum Holdings and former CEO of Kuwait Petroleum Corporation.

Nader Sultan said that the rise of China is creating a massive increase in the demand for oil, as will the growing energy needs of emerging markets like India. Herman Franssen said that that US policies in the region will, by creating more stability will have an impact on a steady supply of oil. He said that this will mean a change in the policy towards Iran, Iraq and Palestine.

Raja Sidawi pointed out that supply side politics has been the cause of disruption of supply. “Politics has been the defining factor. It started when the US shifted from being a producer of oil to an importer. Oil became a key factor in US foreign policy. The US accounts for 25 per cent of the world’s oil consumption when its population is only 4 per cent of the world’s population.”

Sultan said that he would “love to see a change in the US policy of becoming energy independent. Dependency of oil creates interdependency and interdependency promotes security.

Meanwhile, speakers at the first session on the second day of the DIFC Forum titled ‘Emerging Markets in and After the Financial Crisis’ said the rise of emerging markets like India and China will create a more equitable balance of power in the global economy,

Participants in the session included Dr. Kevin W. Lu, CEO, Director and Chief Financial Officer, Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency, The World Bank Group; Brij Raj Singh, CEO, Baer Capital Ltd; Roberto Teixera da Costa, Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors, Banco Itau Financiera S.A.

Asked whether emerging markets like India and China will dominate the world economy Dr. Kevin W. Lu said: “Emerging markets may not dominate the global economy, but we will have a world where economic power is more widely shared. We will have a situation where all the economies will have a stake in the table.”

Panellists said that the middle class will drive the growth of emerging markets. Brij Raj Singh cited the case of India where economic growth is spreading to smaller cities and suburbs of large cities where the middle class is benefiting from the expansion of business. He also talked about the massive increase in mobile phone subscriptions, which was powered by the middle class.

Speaking about the impact of the financial crisis on emerging markets, Singh said that the strong fundamentals of the Indian economy will minimise the impact of the crisis on the country.

The DIFC Forum, being held on 24 and 25 November, is discussing critical issues like the impact of the global financial crisis on the region, the next generation of Islamic Finance, emerging markets in and after the financial crisis, and energy geopolitics in an era of structural change. Apart from HE Alabbar’s key note address, one of the highlights of the Forum is a session titled “Get Confidence Back’ moderated by Maria Bartiromo, Anchor, CNBC.

With over 70 speakers from the world’s major international markets, 21 separate sessions, and a televised debate on how to get confidence back in the global financial markets, DIFC Week will address the most important issues faced by businesses in the region both in the current financial climate and in the future. Topics to be discussed at the four-day event include growth strategies, opportunities and major challenges for family businesses both locally and internationally, the economic outlook for the world and the GCC in 2009, attracting foreign investment and human capital in the Arab world, and the practicalities of establishing operations in Dubai.

Closing DIFC Week will be a Conference on 26 November titled: ‘The Inside Track on Dubai’, which will involve a series of commercial, regulatory and teaching streams that discuss the practicalities of establishing operations in Dubai covering issues such as raising capital and understanding cultural aspects of living and working in the Emirate.

DIFC Week is proud to be supported by its Platinum Sponsors including Deutsche Bank and Abraaj Capital, and Sponsors who include Itau Securities and Goldman Sachs .  In addition, the DIFC Week Conference is sponsored by Alvarez & Marsal, Conyers, Dill & Pearman, Emirates NBD, Grant Thornton, HAYS, International Compliance Training (ICT) Middle East, Kershaw Leonard, Latham and Watkins, M: Communications, Norton Rose and Union Properties while the DIFC Week Gala Networking Reception is sponsored by SungardThe DIFC Summit is run in association with the Tharawat Family Business Forum.  

DIFC Week is also grateful for the active support and involvement of its Knowledge Partners who include Al Tamimi & Company, British Business Group, DIFC Centre of Excellence, Oxford Analytica, Simmons & Simmons, Young Arab Leaders, and DNM connect;  its Media Partners which are, AME Info, Arabian Business,, Al Arabiya News Channel, CNBC, Dow Jones, Dubai Eye, Financial News, The Times, The Sunday Times, SAB Media, The Wall Street Journal, Oxford Business Group and Zawya; as well as DIFC Week's Joint Marketing Partner, Dubai Corporate Counsel Group.. 

In addition, DIFC Week also expresses its gratitude to Itau Securities, the Sponsors of the DIFC Week Golf Championships.

To register or find out more information about the Summit, Forum and Conference taking place at DIFC Week, visit www.difcweek.ae

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