International oil prices are being driven to record-high levels by "speculative traders," not by a shortfall in global oil stores or a crisis among oil producers,
Qatar's energy minister said Wednesday.
Abdullah bin Hamad al-Attiyah, who was meeting with Japanese officials in Tokyo, vowed that the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) would do all it could to satisfy demand for oil in the global marketplace.
"There is no shortage, no crisis in the global oil supply," al-Attiyah told reporters. He said OPEC oil production was at its highest rate in a quarter century.
Oil prices surged Wednesday on the New York Mercantile Exchange's Access electronic trading market, with the
November Nymex crude oil futures contract briefly rising 37
cents to a record-high US$51.48, before retreating.
Al-Attiyah blamed the recent hike in prices on speculative buying of oil futures by hedge funds and other investors. He also cited insufficient refining capacity in the United States to meet the country's own needs.
Although OPEC recently asked Russia and Oman to boost production, "they are also producing oil at full capacity," he said. (menareport.com)
© 2004 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )