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OPEC chief blames speculation, dollar for rocketing oil prices

Speculation and the weak US dollar, rather than insufficient output, are responsible for the soaring oil prices, OPEC Secretary-General Abdullah al-Badri said.

Badri indicated that Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) can do nothing to curb the hike in oil prices, though many countries, especially in the developing world, are being seriously impacted.

“When we see there is a shortage of supply, we will act,” he said. But in the present situation, “even if we increase output tomorrow, the prices will not come down because of speculation and because of a weak dollar.”

Crude oil prices hit a “crazy” record Thursday, topping $135 a barrel. However, OPEC maintains there is no need to increase output immediately.

Badri arrived in Quito on Wednesday, beginning a five-day visit to Ecuador following his trip to Venezuela.

Ecuador joined OPEC in 1973, but stopped paying membership fees in 1992. In 2007, it rejoined the group as a member with the smallest oil output of 500,000 barrels per day. (Xinhua)