Opec to pump more oil if necessary, says Al Hamili

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Opec to pump more oil if necessary, says Al Hamili
(Wam)31 January 2008

ABU DHABI – In a bid to strike a balance in the world oil market, Opec will take every measure deemed necessary to keep market stability, including pumping more oil, UAE Minister of Energy Mohammed bin Dha’en Al Hamili said.

Speaking to the news agency shortly before travelling to Vienna for the extraordinary Opec meeting which will open tomorrow, Al Hamili expressed concerns that world oil prices might remain volatile due to the current state of global economy which, he said, is exacerbated by the mortgage crisis in the US. The UAE official, however, observed that demands for crude oil “usually recedes during the second quarter of the year due to seasonal factors”.

Al Hamili remained non-committal on whether or not Opec would increase output in view of the of the current market volatility.

“Any decision to maintain or increase the current production ceiling will be based on informed opinions, studies and analyses that will be presented to the ministers,” he said.

Al Hamili further said that market and economic conditions indicate that world economy is heading towards recession. “Nevertheless, it is predicted that global economy will continue to grow by 4.8 per cent during 2008, a growth rate that is closer to last year’s level.”

While underling Opec commitment to strike a balance between supply and demand, Al Hamili cited weakening US dollar, speculators, US housing sector crisis, among others, as the main factors responsible for oil prices volatility.

Opec oil accounts for about 40 per cent of the world’s needs.

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