OPEC does not want high oil price: Saudi oilmin

TAIF, Saudi Arabia - Top world oil exporter Saudi Arabia said on Sunday that OPEC producers want to avoid high oil prices that may harm global economic growth.

By (Reuters)

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Published: Sun 23 Jul 2006, 11:53 PM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 3:15 PM

“OPEC-member states want stability in world oil markets and seek to avoid fluctuations in oil prices or a rise in prices to levels that would affect the global economy, especially that of developing countries,” Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi told the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA).

Naimi did not specify a price level. He was speaking after a meeting in Taif with OPEC President Edmund Daukoru, who had said on Wednesday that the latest spike in oil prices to near $80 a barrel was “very uncomfortable” and hurting the world economy.

Naimi and Daukoru, who is also Nigeria’s top oil official, discussed the oil market situation and “OPEC’s striving for market stability” as well as bilateral energy cooperation, SPA said without giving further details.

Oil held above $74 a barrel on Friday on concerns about Middle East violence and production snags at U.S. refineries. U.S. crude for September rose 16 cents to $74.43 a barrel and London September Brent crude was up 3 cents at $73.75 a barrel.

Oil has slid from records above $78 a barrel struck earlier this month on fears the fighting between Israel and Lebanese guerrilla group Hizbollah could spread to other countries in the oil-producing region, but remains up about 22 percent this year.

Daukoru, in Saudi Arabia on a tour of some OPEC countries, has said the conflict between Israel and Hizbollah was responsible for the latest price spike and that a price in the mid-$60 range would be more acceptable.

Daukoru has also said that the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) had spare production capacity of more than 2 million barrels per day available if required.

Saudi Arabia is the largest producer in OPEC and holds the bulk of its spare capacity.

OPEC, supplier of more than a third of the world’s oil, said this month that oil markets are well supplied and that it has no influence over geopolitical tensions that are driving oil prices. The price rally has also been fuelled by worries over oil supply from Nigeria and the row over Iran’s nuclear programme.

Daukoru’s tour, to address some internal OPEC issues as well as the oil market, is also expected to take him to Iran and Libya. The trip aims to sort out a long-running dispute over the post of OPEC secretary-general. Another contentious matter is that both Libya and Saudi Arabia want to host a meeting of OPEC heads of state and government, aides have said.



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