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Opec: Iraq violence not causing reduction in oil output
BRUSSELS—The head of Opec, the group of major oil exporters, says recent crude price increases are to blame on market fears caused by the crisis in Iraq but not on a drop in output. Opec Secretary General Abdullah Al-Badry said yesterday that Iraq was “still producing as normal,” with 95 per cent of its capacity in the country’s south being unaffected by the violence.
The price for a barrel of Brent crude, the key international benchmark, has risen from a stable level of US$110 held over the past four years to about US$115 following the takeover of some parts of Iraq by Sunni insurgents. Al-Badry says prices are not rising because of supply shortages but because the market is “nervous” and investors are speculating. He adds Opec still has spare capacity.
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