NEW YORK (Reuters) – Qatar’s energy minister said yesterday the world oil market is “saturated” and he sees no need for OPEC to increase production in the face of high prices.
“The problem is that these prices are impacted by political problems,” said Abdullah bin Hamad al-Attiyah on the sidelines of a conference at the United Nations. “We don’t feel consumer nations are demanding an increase in supplies. I can say the market is saturated with oil.”
The OPEC cartel has already agreed on two cuts since last autumn, totaling 1.7 million barrels per day, to trim global supply after a steep slide in crude prices from record heights last summer.
The group is next scheduled to meet in September.
London Brent crude oil prices, currently seen as the best global benchmark, fell 49 cents Wednesday to $65.05 a barrel after reports showing increases in crude stockpiles in both Europe and the United States.
Prices have recently been supported by militant attacks against oil facilities in Nigeria and by tensions between Iran and the West over Tehran’s nuclear ambitions.
Gasoline prices have also risen sharply in the United States due to a string of refinery problems.