RIMINI, Italy- A top OPEC official said Sunday that oil companies with surging third-quarter profits should use the money to increase their refining capacity and help ease pressure on oil prices, AP reported.
"This is a chance for them to invest," said Adnan Shihab-Eldin, acting secretary general of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries.
"We believe that they should definitely make an effort to invest in the downstream in trying to resolve the bottlenecks," caused by rapidly expanding demand, Shihab-Eldin said during a conference here on long-term issues of energy supply.
Several major oil companies reported third-quarter profits this week.
"We”ve been saying this past year that refining has to increase," Shihab-Eldin said. "There needs to be more refining and upgrading."
Concerns about refining capacity, heightened by the devastation wrought in the U.S. by hurricanes Katrina and Rita, have recently kept the price of oil above US$60 a barrel.