OPEC reassures Europe

June 28, 2011 at 9:36 AM

VIENNA, June 28 (UPI) -- The OPEC oil cartel told members of the European Union that moderate economic recovery could impact demand, but spare capacity was available.

Ministers from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries met with European leaders in the wake of unilateral moves by the International Energy Agency to add more crude to global oil stocks. OPEC during its June meeting kept production quotas set in 2008 in check.

OPEC in a joint statement said there was a "robust rebound" in the global economy last year, though that was expected to moderate in the current fiscal cycle because of debt burdens in Europe.

"On the supply side, the physical market continues to be supported by above-average trend growth in major producing regions, as well as sufficient stock levels," the cartel said. "Additionally, OPEC continues to offer an adequate level of spare capacity for the benefit of all.

Saudi Arabia has said it would put more crude on the market in a unilateral move. Economists had expressed concern that a tighter energy market would unravel any economic gains across the board.

Iran and Venezuela, the so-called price hawks in OPEC, argued there were plenty of crude stocks available and protested any increase in quotas.

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