OPEC's Badri says $100/b is comfortable oil price for producers, consumers
Paris (Platts)--3May2012/609 am EDT/1009 GMT
OPEC secretary general Abdalla el-Badri said Thursday the oil producers'
group was not happy with current high oil prices, and that anything over
$110/barrel was too high.
Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a Paris energy conference,
Badri said $100/b was a comfortable price for both producers and consumers.
"As far as OPEC is concerned, we are not happy," he said, adding the
high prices could lead to demand destruction.
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"We want to bring prices down to what producers and consumers can live
with -- and that's what we're doing." "OPEC is working hard to bring prices
down," he said.
Badri stressed that OPEC was producing well above its ceiling of 30
million b/d agreed late last year, and that in March, the group's members
said they produced a total of 32.3 million b/d, clarifying earlier remarks he
made about OPEC production "last month." He was referring to March output,
OPEC for the first time in April published numbers given to the
secretariat by each member country for production in March, which was almost
1 million b/d higher than the volume estimated by secondary sources.
"We believe these numbers, we are confident these numbers are correct,"
Therefore, OPEC was producing well above demand for OPEC crude, he said.
"And still prices are going up," he said, adding that speculation was
the main reason for the high price.
"Nobody can convince me that there is no speculation," he said, pointing
to a paper market that trades 4 billion b/d of oil.
He said OPEC was not happy with a price at $130/b, $125/b, or "even
$110/b" as such prices could have a negative effect on world economic growth.
"$100/b is comfortable," he said, "as it allows investment and does not
affect growth of the world economy."
Badri also urged the International Energy Agency chief Maria van der
Hoeven not to release emergency oil stocks.
"Stock levels are very high and I hope my dear friend will not use it
against me," he said.
Current stock levels in OECD countries are running at around 59 days of
forward cover, Badri said.
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