Oil ministers say prices are too high

March 13, 2012 at 7:53 AM
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KUWAIT CITY, March 13 (UPI) -- The price of oil, increasing because of tensions in the Middle East, is a bit too high for comfort, officials said at an energy conference in Kuwait.

Mohamed al-Hamli, the oil minister for the United Arab Emirates, said at the International Energy Forum in Kuwait that he felt crude oil prices were "on the high side," Bloomberg News reports.

Oil prices are near 9-month highs in part because of tensions with Iran. The Iranian government said it was halting crude oil shipments to some European countries and said it would close key oil shipping lanes in the Strait of Hormuz if pressured further by sanctions.

Oman's Oil Minister Mohammed al-Rumhy told Bloomberg News prices were "a bit high," noting a $100-per-barrel price was more reasonable.

IEF Secretary-General Aldo Flores-Quiroga told the news service that oil discoveries were adding diversity to the market in terms of supplies.

"New supplies seem like they're enough to replace depleting fields," he said. "It puts to rest the fear of there not being enough oil."

Analysts say oil prices threaten to undermine chances for a global economic recovery.

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