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MarketWatch: Shell says oil prices may stay robust, but trend lower in this year

By Benoit Faucon
Last Update: 6:35 AM ET Mar 14, 2007

LONDON (MarketWatch) — Royal Dutch Shell PLC expects oil prices to stay robust in 2007 but see them trending lower this year than in 2006, the company said Tuesday in its annual report.

In its report to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the company said “we expect oil prices, on balance, to remain robust in 2007 with ongoing geopolitical tensions.”

But without major supply disruptions, prices “may trend lower than in 2006” because of potentially slower economic growth, along with stronger supply growth and higher capacity levels from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, Shell added.

Brent crude oil prices averaged $65.10 a barrel in 2006.

In the medium to longer term, the Anglo-Dutch major “anticipates prices to moderate from present levels, as both supply and demand are expected to respond to a higher price environment and OPEC spare capacity is being rebuilt.”

The company also said Henry Hub prices, the U.S. gas benchmark, are expected to remain at present levels in 2007.

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