April 18, 2009 / 9:14 AM / 10 years ago

Nigeria predicts oil price at $44-$52 this year

ABUJA (Reuters) - Global oil prices are likely to trade between $44 and $52 a barrel for the rest of the year due to a decline in production in North America and the North Sea, Nigeria’s minister of state for finance said on Friday.

“While it is an oily business predicting the price of crude, our prognosis for the rest of the year hovers around $44 and $52 per barrel based on supply constraints,” Remi Babalola said in prepared remarks at an economic event. Oil prices traded around $50 a barrel on Friday.

Africa’s largest oil producer has seen its own decline in output due to insecurity in the Niger Delta and government funding shortfalls.

The OPEC member is producing less than 2 million barrels per day, with some estimates as low as 1.6 million bpd. That is almost half the country’s installed capacity of 3 million bpd.

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