Qatar Oil Minister: OPEC Not Worried about Current Oil Prices

CAIRO (Dow Jones Newswires), Dec. 24, 2010

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries isn't worried about oil prices rising above $90 a barrel as they are largely driven by seasonal forces, Qatar Oil Minister Abdullah bin Hamad Al Attiyah said Friday.

"They are largely affected by the cold snaps in Europe and in some areas in North America," Al Attiyah told Dow Jones Newswires.

"Stocks are at their highest level, more than 60 days of forward cover, but the market is in a very good condition and there is no panic or need for an output hike," he said.

OPEC left its crude oil production ceiling at 24.85 million barrels a day at its meeting earlier this month, despite recent signs a recovering world economy might call on the group to open its spigots next year.

The group, which disclosed its next meeting would be in June in Vienna, has held its quota at this level since late 2008.

"OPEC still sees there is no need for another meeting until then [June] and there are no complaints from consumers and producers," Al Attiyah said.

Arab oil ministers are in Cairo for a meeting of the Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries, or OAPEC, set for Saturday. Seven of the members of OAPEC are also members of OPEC. They are Algeria, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

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