The international oil price will not rise markedly next year and will fluctuate between US$55 and 65 per barrel, according to a report published by the State Information Center on Thursday.
The prediction is based on the premise that there will be no major unexpected incidents or obvious deterioration of political conflicts, said the 2007 Report on China and World Economic Development.
An anticipated slowdown of the global economy will reduce the demand for oil, as the International Monetary Fund has forecast world economic growth of 4.9 percent for 2007, a drop of 0.2 percent from the previous year, said the report.
But there still remain widespread concerns over potential price hikes.
"Oil companies and oil exporting countries that have pushed oil prices up in recent years remain strong," said Li Xiangyang, vice president of the Institute of World Economics and Politics of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.
The international oil price has rocketed from about US$20 per barrel in 2002 to more than US$60, an annual rise of about US$10.
(Xinhua News Agency December 30, 2006)