KUWAIT (Reuters) – OPEC is not behind a recent rise in oil prices as markets are well-supplied and the price is purely driven by speculators, a Kuwaiti newspaper quoted the Qatari oil minister as saying.
“Investment funds and speculators are behind the recent hike,” Abdullah al-Attiyah told al-Jarida newspaper in comments published on Friday.
“The market is not suffering from any luck in supplies, and there is no disturbance in producers’ regions.”
He said OPEC was monitoring the market and would discuss the situation at a meeting in February, but cautioned: “It (OPEC) does not play a role in price movements.”
Oil in New York hit $100 a barrel on Wednesday, the first trading day of the new year, and analysts said crude might make further gains.
OPEC, a source of more than a third of the world’s oil, decided to keep oil output steady at a December 5 meeting, rebuffing calls from consumer countries for more supply to rein in prices then trading at around $90.