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No sign of OPEC concern with oil heading for $100

Published: 
Saturday, December 25, 2010

CAIRO— Core OPEC ministers said on Friday they saw no need to supply the world with more crude as oil prices traded near a two-year high and some consumers said they fear a rally above $100 per barrel would spur inflation.

OPEC’s most influential oil minister, Saudi Arabia’s Ali al-Naimi, said he was still happy with an oil price of $70-80 per barrel and there was no need for an extra OPEC meeting before the next scheduled one June. US crude closed at over $91 per barrel on Thursday and Brent closed 48 cents down at $93.46 on Friday after hitting $94.74 a barrel, its highest level since October 2008.

Arab OPEC ministers are meeting in the Egyptian capital this weekend where they are expected to discuss oil production and prices, but no formal decision on output will take place. United Arab Emirates’ oil minister said he wanted OPEC to comply better with output cuts the group agreed in late 2008, and added the current price did not reflect fundamentals.

That chimed with OPEC’s stance that oil demand remains fragile and speculators are to blame for the rally. Speaking in Cairo, only Iraq’s new oil minister said the cartel could meet before June if market conditions changed but then added that if a decision was taken to meet it would not be “about price. It’s about market conditions.”

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