7 JULY 1939, Page 38


Mr. H. C. R. Williamson, the chairman of Lobitos Oilfields, feels no doubt that the trend of oil consumption must in the long run be upwards, notwithstanding the check to the previously steady increase which occurred in 1938. Moreover, if the world returns to sanity the upward trend will, he feels, be a steady one. Consumption figures for last year were, in his view, probably not fair indices because various countries are believed to have increased .their secret stores of oil for military and other purposes. Lobitos oilfields last year suffered from two reductions in the crude oil price which were partly offset by the depreciation in the sterling-dollar exchange and there was in addition a depreciation in the Peruvian exchange rate. Thus the company was able to maintain its total distribution at 15 per cent. for the year and again to add handsomely to reserves. Mr. Williamson feels that there is no reason why the oil position should get out of hand, notwithstanding increasing production in several countries, and that with careful direction and proration a balance between output and consumption should be main- tained with a reasonable price structure for both crude and refined products.

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