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Markets, not season, sways OPEC

Oct. 14, 2010 at 10:12 AM   |   Comments

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VIENNA, Oct. 14 (UPI) -- While the average price of crude oil is positive, economic risks loom over the oil market, an Ecuadorian minister said at the OPEC meeting Vienna.

Ministers from the 12-member Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries during their regular meeting in Vienna suggested they wouldn't make any moves on oil production quotas.

Wilson Pastor-Morris, the Ecuadorian natural resources minister, said the present situation in the oil market was stable.

"The current average price level appears to receive a positive reaction from producers and consumers at a time of much economic uncertainty in the world at large," he told delegates in his opening statement. "However, the potential for a return to high price volatility remains."

He pointed to an $18 drop in the average price of a barrel crude oil in May as a sign the global economy was risky for the cartel.

"Such a turn of events could easily happen again if we are not careful," he said.

He said with the winter heating season approaching, the focus was less on seasonal factors and more on general economic conditions.

"Indeed, for oil producers assessing the oil market outlook, the focus of attention is now more on the rate, the size and the global spread of economic recovery than on the usual seasonal factors for this time of the year," he said.

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