OPEC Ministers Declare Oil Supply To Be Adequate

OPEC ministers and officials have said that oil supplies are adequate and that the world economy is showing few signs of recovery, indicating they have no plan to raise production to stem this year's one third surge in prices. Ministers for the United Arab Emirates, Algeria and Qatar, speaking this weekend in Cairo, Egypt, said that there is no shortage of crude, while the oil minister of Saudi Arabia declined to comment on the market. Higher prices in part stem from traders' concern of a disruption to Middle East supply by recent violence in Israel. “Supply and demand are in balance,” Chakib Khelil, Algeria's oil minister, said in an interview. “Prices are in a way higher than they should be because of the crisis situation in the Middle East -- adding $3 to $4 a barrel to the oil price.” Arab oil producers want to keep crude prices around $25 a barrel, which means the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries probably will maintain output at its lowest level in nine years, analysts have said. Crude oil prices ended last week in New York at an eight-month high of $27.99 a barrel.

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