World oil prices will not come down and oil producers have done what they could to ensure supply, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) president said.
“OPEC has already done what OPEC can do and prices will not come down,” OPEC president Chakib Khelil told reporters as he arrived for a high-level dialogue with European Union (EU) officials in Brussels.
As the world oil prices reach 140 U.S. dollars per barrel, a once unimaginable record level, producing countries have been under rising pressure from consuming countries, including the EU, to increase production.
Slovenia, which currently holds the EU’s rotating presidency, said prior to the dialogue that the 27-nation bloc would particularly highlight its concerns about high oil prices.
Before hosting a summit between producers and consumers in Jeddah last weekend, Saudi Arabia, a leading member of OPEC and the world’s top oil exporter, promised last Thursday to increase oil output by 200,000 barrels per day.
“Other member countries don’t want to increase their production because, as they’ve said many times, from our perspective we don’t see any shortage in the market,” OPEC Secretary General Abdullah al-Badri said.
While emphasizing market fundamentals like “supply and demand,” western heavy oil-dependent consumers have been urging OPEC members to raise production, the latter however believe causes of the price hike are actually “speculation and a weak dollar,” insisting there is enough supply at the pumps.
“The market is currently hijacked by speculators,” al-Badri said, “There is no shortage of supply as I said before.”
Light, sweet crude for August delivery rose by 1.30 U.S. dollars to138.04 dollars a barrel by the afternoon in European electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange on Monday. Brent crude futures rose 1.19 to 137.10 dollars a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange in London.