Oil over $100 damaging, OPEC would act - Kuwait

Reuters, 25 April 2010

OPEC would pump more oil to prevent a rally in oil prices above $100 from hurting the global economic recovery, Kuwait's oil minister said on Sunday.

Oil is well below the $100 a barrel mark, settling at just over $85 a barrel on Friday. For a month, oil has traded over the $70 to $80 level that many in OPEC have pegged as fair. But there was room for more upside before the producer group would respond, Sheikh Ahmad al-Abdullah al-Sabah told Reuters in an interview at a media event.

"If it's sustained above $100 that would damage the economic recovery," he said. When asked if OPEC would boost supply to prevent that, he replied "I would say so."

Current oil prices were acceptable to both producers and consumers, he said.

The oil market was oversupplied, but Kuwait had seen a sudden, surprising surge in demand from Asia that was absorbing some of the surplus, he said.

"I was surprised a little bit, to see a sudden surge," he said. "I was expecting to see the demand, but not at the same pace as we've seen lately."

The whole of Kuwait was sat on more oil than previously thought, not just the Burgan oilfield, Sheikh Ahmad said. He declined to give more details

Last week, a Kuwaiti official said Greater Burgan, the world's second-largest oilfield, was bigger than past estimates had indicated.

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