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Mon 26 Oct 2009 12:06 PM

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OPEC will raise output if oil price hits $100

Group's president says action would be taken in Dec to protect global recovery.

OPEC ministers will raise output to protect the global economic recovery at a meeting in December if oil prices rise to $100 per barrel, the group's president has said.

Jose Botelho de Vasconcelos, who is also Angola's oil minister, said that both producers and consumers were comfortable with oil prices at between $75 and $80 per barrel and that higher prices could put a brake on the global economy.

"I think that a balanced price is always better," said Botelho de Vasconcelos before boarding a flight to Brazil late on Sunday.

"You know that, if necessary, some countries are open to injecting more oil into the market and that will be done."

Asked if a rise in oil prices to $100 per barrel would inevitably prompt OPEC to raise production at its Dec. 22 meeting in Luanda, Botelho de Vasconcelos replied: "I believe so. We need to maintain the balance."

However, Botelho de Vasconcelos added that OPEC would first have to make sure that oil market fundamentals, in terms of supply and demand, were also balanced, adding that oil stocks remained high.

"We are aware that although oil stocks ahve been declining they are still at a certain level."

Oil prices reached $82 last week, the highest in a year, in a rally many say was triggered by expectations of an economic recovery and a weak dollar rather than a tighter oil supply and demand balance.

Benchmark US crude oil futures were around $80 a barrel on Monday. (Reuters)

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R.D.Srinivasan 10 years ago

They predict $ 75 to 80 is comfortable price and the price has already touched $82/barrel, then why OPEC wait for price to reach $100 and to decide about increasing the production. Why not they increase the production right now and keep the price Stable?