Iraq hopes oil prices will rebound in 2016, Assabah reports

Iraq's Shi'ite Vice President Adel Abdul-Mahdi speaks during a news conference at the Iraqi parliament headquarters in Baghdad September 7, 2010. REUTERS/Thaier al-Sudani

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraq’s Oil Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi has expressed hope that oil prices will rebound in 2016 on improved global economic growth, according to an interview with Assabah newspaper published on Monday.”There is big hope that, in the first half or by the end of next year, oil prices would return to what they were,” he told the Baghdad-based daily, without specifying a price level.

“The resumption of normal economic growth rates in China, together with growth in Asia and Europe and higher economic growth in the U.S. could contribute to an increase in demand for energy and to higher prices.” Global oil prices tumbled after the members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) failed on Dec. 4 to agree a ceiling on their oil production, which has already been running at near record levels since last year in an attempt to drive higher-cost producers such as U.S. shale drillers out of the market.Front-month Brent crude futures closed below $37 a barrel on Friday.

Reporting by Maher Chmaytelli; Editing by Ed Davies