Oil producers at risk of wasting investment due to low oil prices: OPEC

14:32, April 01, 2010      

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The world's oil-producing countries are now at risk of wasting investment if oil prices are too low or too volatile, Abdullah Al-Badri, secretary general of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), said Wednesday.

"There is a very real risk of wasting financial resources on unneeded capacity," Al-Badri told the 12th International Energy Forum (IEF) which opened on Tuesday in Mexico's resort city of Cancun.

"We need to lessen the magnitude of the swings and I feel there is now a common understanding that a price that is neither too high nor too low is favorable to all."

During 2008, oil prices skyrocketed to an all-time high of about 150 U.S. dollar per barrel, but ended the year at a little more than 40 dollars a barrel as a result of the U.S. financial crisis affecting the economy of the whole world.

Oil producers, therefore, started to cancel projects and today they have to suspend oil production capacity of some 6 million barrels a day, Al-Badri said.

He also expressed support for the Joint Oil Data Initiative launched by the IEF on Monday, a database of monthly oil statistics covering the 30 largest oil producers and oil purchasers among its 100 contributors.

"In a short time it has evolved into an internationally respected initiative that enhances the transparency, scope, quality and timeliness of data," he said, adding that this should help stabilize oil prices.

The two-day International Energy Forum has attracted representatives of 64 countries and 16 international organizations.



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