OPEC Would Like Oil at $80/Bbl for Investments

VIENNA (Dow Jones Newswires), Jun. 23, 2009

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries would like oil to reach a price level of $80 a barrel so that most investments in the industry can go ahead, OPEC President Jose Maria Botelho de Vasconcelos said Tuesday.

"We would like to reach the $80 per barrel, so that investment could be met," he said during a press conference after meeting with European Union officials.

He said the current level of between $60 a barrel and $70 a barrel is comfortable as it allows some investment, but a higher price would be better.

Oil prices rose to above $70 a barrel in June, up from $32 a barrel in December, after peaking last year at more than $140 a barrel.

OPEC said in a statement after the meeting that low oil prices could lead to underinvestment in the industry.

However, the E.U. and OPEC also agreed Tuesday that last year's price bubble could be repeated unless more is done to improve the oil market transparency and its regulations. In an effort to encourage clarity, the E.U. agreed recently to publish monthly data on oil stocks.

E.U. energy commissioner Andris Piebalgs said that an overall effort to increase supervision in the global financial market will also be instrumental in reducing the impact of speculation in the oil market.

OPEC also said that it is revising downward its outlook for oil and energy to 2030, because the current economic downturn and new rules in consuming countries are expected to weigh on oil demand.

"The economic recession, together with new legislation and regulations in many consuming countries, had added to long-standing uncertainties about future demand and had led to downward revisions to the long-term oil and energy outlook to 2030," it said.  

Copyright (c) 2009 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.


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