Crude Oil March Outlook

Oil market participants have been left reeling after Saudi Arabian Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi shocked the industry by saying that Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries would not cut production even if prices tumbled to $20 per barrel (bbl).

According to the Middle East Economic Survey, al-Naimi said that the world may never see $100/bbl oil again.

"It is not in the interest of Opec producers to cut their production, whatever the price is. Whether it goes down to $20, $40, $50, $60, it is irrelevant," he said.

Oil prices have started to rise towards the end of 2014 but they are still hovering around five-and-a-half-year low of under $60/bbl in December.

In 2013 and 2012, oil prices averaged $100/bbl.

"The statements out of al-Naimi over the weekend were remarkable. Even if non-Opec producers cut, they're not going to cut," said John Kilduff of Again Capital to CNBC TV.

"It really is Saudi 'shock and awe.'"

Brent futures is currently up 19 cents at $60.30/bbl but Bank of America Merrill Lynch said in a research note that this contract could drop to around $60/bbl over the next six months.

WTI crude oil rose over a dollar to a session high of $56.85/bbl a barrel before dipping back to $55.79/bbl.