Stability not just OPEC's job, cartel says

May 31, 2013 at 8:11 AM

VIENNA, May 31 (UPI) -- OPEC members will monitor global markets to ensure oil supplies are sufficient, though it's not the cartel's job alone, the Libyan oil minister said in Vienna.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries gathers for its biannual meeting Friday in Vienna. The meeting comes amid reports of slow economic growth in the eurozone and housing market gains in the United States.

Libyan Oil Minister Abdul-Bari al-Aroussi told the opening session that fluctuations in the reference basket for crude oil, which declined 5.7 percent in April before settling at around $100 per barrel, was a reflection of uncertainty in the global economy.

"This has, however, not affected our economic growth forecast of 3.2 percent for the year," he said.

OPEC expects global oil demand to increase by 800,000 barrels per day. Oil supplies from countries outside the 12-member cartel were up 1 million barrels per day for the year, he said.

Oil production in the United States has surged, prompting OPEC to revise its expectations of the global demand for its oil. Only under certain circumstances can the United States export its own oil, meaning the U.S. economy is moving from foreign sources.

Aroussi said OPEC would monitor the global economy to ensure oil markets are stable.

"However, as we have repeatedly said, this is not a job for OPEC alone," he said. "Every stakeholder has a part to play in achieving this."

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