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Oil prices expected to rise to over Dlrs 80 before end of year

London, July 23, IRNA - Oil prices are expected to continue to set new record highs, rising to well over 80 dollars per barrel (dpb) before the end of the year, according to the latest monthly forecast by the Centre for Global Energy Studies (CGES).

In its base case scenario, the London-based center predicted that the average price of Dated Brent would rise from 69.1 dpb in the second quarter of 2007 to 79.2 in the third and reach 82.8 in the final three months.

"Oil prices will continue to rise over the remainder of 2007, with no repeat of last year's autumn price fall," it said in its latest monthly report.

"Crude oil prices are setting new records, surpassing the levels reached last August, with the price of the OPEC Reference Basket now more than 50 per cent higher than it was at its recent low point just six months ago," the report said.

It said that oil prices had not yet peaked, even if OPEC raises its aggregate output ceiling by 1 million barrels per day (bpd) when its members meet in September.

"If OPEC does not raise production sufficiently over the coming months, oil prices will remain on an upward trend, until they are pushed so high as to trigger a collapse in demand, as occurred in the mid-1980s," CGES said.

It suggested that the rate of Dated Brent could reach an average of 87.7 dbp in the final quarter of this year, saying that even an additional 750,000 bpd of OPEC production would not be enough to tip oil prices back onto a downward trend in 2008.

The centre, founded by former Saudi Oil Minister Zaki Yamani, disputed OPEC's view, which lays the blame for the dramatic run-up in oil prices on geopolitics and refinery bottlenecks and not on supply.

It also said that it did not expect to see the surge in oil demand growth rates predicted by the International Energy Agency for the second half of 2007.

Its report saw global oil demand rising by 1.7 per cent and just 0.8 per cent in the final two quarters of the year and said the outlook for 2008 is even more bearish, expecting global oil consumption to grow by just 620,000 bpd, an 0.7 per cent increase.

... Payvand News - 7/23/07 ... --

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