New Delhi: Concerned over volatility in international oil prices, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today expressed hope that the situation in the Middle East will improve and the prices will stabilise. “I am sure the last word on the economy of the oil has not been spoken yet. There are assessments, there are speculations, there are words of wisdom. We are passing through very fluid times and I would always hope that this fluidity settles down and the moderation comes to stay,” the Minister said at ‘Urja Sangam’ conference here.
He was commenting on the volatility in the international oil market following attack by Saudi Arabia and its allies on rebels in Yemen. Crude oil prices soared about 5 per cent yesterday on fears of impact on supplies. However, the Brent crude prices fell 90 cents to close at USD 58.29 a barrel in today’s trade.
The stability in crude oil prices, Jaitley said, would also help in addressing issues concerning unreasonable concentration of wealth between producers as well as the consuming states. Yemen has border with key Middle East oil producers Saudi Arabia and Oman. Concerns are being expressed that escalation of the crisis could disrupt oil shipments passing through the Bab el-Mandeb Strait, located between Yemen and Djibouti. As much as 3.8 million barrels of oil are transported from this route every day.