Rainer Seele sees hope for oil price recovery in second half

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Austrian energy group OMV sees hope for a recovery in oil prices in the second half of 2020 helped by increased fuel demand and output cuts by producers such as Saudi Arabia, its chief executive said.

The spread of the coronavirus has knocked global demand and weighed on crude prices and oil companies’ profits.

But the willingness of producers such as Saudi Arabia and Norway to drastically cut output shows oil prices have a chance to return to a reasonable level, OMV CEO Rainer Seele said, according to Reuters. “We therefore expect the oil price to gradually recover in the second half and to average $40 for the year,” Seele said in an interview with Reuters.

Gasoline and diesel consumption in Austria halved in April, but was back at 60% after all shops were allowed to reopen in early May and has hit 65% in the past few days, he said.

Austria was one of the first countries in Europe to close shops and restaurants and urge people to stay at home, but has also been early to ease lockdown measures.

OMV is curbing its oil production in the United Arab Emirates and in Norway to meet agreed quotas but it does not expect any production shutdowns, Seele said. “I also do not see any major production interruptions in our refinery business.”

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