Market instability troubles OPEC

VIENNA, Dec. 12 (UPI) -- Uncertainties in supply and demand forecasts from major world economies are clouding planning, the OPEC president said Wednesday from Vienna.

Ministers from the 12-member Organization of Petroleum Economies met in Vienna for the biannual conference. OPEC President and Iraqi Oil Minister Abdul Karim al-Luaibi said in his opening address there were fluctuations in oil prices that were the result of economic and geopolitical concerns.


Oil prices on the U.S. market this year topped $108 per barrel in the week ending March 2 in part due to geopolitical concerns over Iran. Uncertainty about the health of the global economy, however, pushed oil prices down to around $89 for last week.

"This drop has reflected mounting concern about the global economic slowdown, the pessimistic future demand outlook and significant stockbuilds of crude in the United States of America," said Luaibi.

Several oil ministers arriving in Vienna told Bloomberg News the current situation in the global markets was tolerable.

The price is OK for the moment, not too high but OK," Iranian Oil Minister Rostam Qasemi was quoted as saying.

Luaibi said investment strategies in the oil sector as complicated by a variety of economic concerns.


"Clearly there are many doubts about the market outlook today," he said. "Without market stability -- that is, sustainable market stability -- all parties will suffer, producers and consumers alike."

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