In view of rising demand for crude in 2011, the oil producer’s cartel OPEC may increase production, said OPEC member Saudi Arabia’s oil minister.
OPEC estimates that oil demand may grow by 2% this year, said Ali Al-Naimi during a conference on Monday. Crude prices are hovering around $100 a barrel and a production increase will help in cooling prices.
The Arabian kingdom is the strongest member of OPEC and the its latest statement assumes significance since several other member states had ruled out any immediate production hike.
Mr. Al-Naimi said OPEC may “boost their supplies to the global market to meet the rising global demand” since many non-OPEC members have already announced their decision of boosting production. “I expect prices to remain at the same level as last year”, added Mr. Al-Naimi.
The International Energy Agency (IEA) said last week that oil prices at $100 per barrel may seriously slow down the global economic recovery process. The Paris based IEA is an autonomous intergovernmental organization and advices the OECD and other non-OECD members on energy policy issues.