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OPEC chief says high oil prices not to last long

Secretary General of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) Abdalla Salem El-Badri said in Vienna Friday that the current high oil prices would not last long.

The prediction came after oil prices briefly hit a record high of over $80 a barrel on Wednesday. El-Badri said the current global economic situation would not sustain the overheated crude oil price of more than $80 a barrel. The soaring oil prices should be attributed to the impact of a hurricane on oil production in the Gulf of Mexico, the Mexican oil pipeline blasts and the shortage of the refinery capabilities in the United States, the OPEC chief said.

However, he did not reply to a question about whether the OPEC would further increase output at the next ministerial conference in December. He said that the cartel would keep a close eye on the situation of the world crude oil supply and inventories. At OPEC’s 145th ministerial conference held Tuesday in Vienna, the 12-nation organization decided to increase its daily output by 500,000 barrels starting from Nov. 1. Its current production quota has a ceiling of 25.8 million barrels per day. The decision showed it willingness to keep its commitment to guarantee the sufficient supply in the international market and promote the healthy development of the world economy, the OPEC’s the monthly world oil market report said Friday. The report estimated the daily demand for the crude oil in the international market in 2007 and 2008 respectively at 85.70 million barrels and 87.10 million barrels.

The daily demand for the crude oil from OPEC in 2008 would reach 30.80 million barrels, against 30.39 millions barrels a day in August, the report said. OPEC produces about 40% of the world’s oil. Its daily average oil prices kept rising in the last three trading days, up $0.43 to a record $74.64 per barrel on Thursday, the cartel’s secretariat said Friday. (