DAVOS, (Reuters) – Oil giants Royal Dutch Shell Plc and BP Plc fear rising oil prices may hinder the recovery of the global economy, chief executives from both firms told Reuters on Friday.
Oil prices nearly touched a $100 a barrel this week, however prices fell on Friday to a near two-month low on weak economic data and talk of OPEC raising output to cool prices.
“We are concerned about the current price of oil, we don’t want recovery slowed,” Shell’s Peter Voser told Reuters at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
Similar fears were raised by BP’s chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg, who said oil in the $65-90 range was “okay.”
“But if the price continues to rise this could hurt recovery,” he said.
Officials from OPEC states have also expressed their fear of a repetition of 2008 when oil spiked to over $147 as the United Stated slipped into recession.
Kuwait Petroleum Corp said OPEC may need to boost output as a means to curb prices.
The oil majors agreed there were signs of growing global demand, especially from Asia and emerging markets. “The world is in a good growth mood … there’s big demand for oil coming from emerging markets,” said Svanberg.
Saudi Arabia’s influential oil minister Ali al-Naimi said this month that OPEC had the capacity to meet the world’s growing demand, amid claims made by the International Energy Agency that the world’s largest oil exporter had already increased its production.