Energy ministers gathered at an international forum Wednesday estimated the world will have to invest $25 trillion over the next two decades to satisfy energy demand.
"The projected global investment needs to amount to over $25 trillion up to 2030, a huge challenge in a time of unprecedented uncertainty and volatility," according to a statement from the 12th International Energy Forum being held in the Caribbean coastal resort of Cancun.
The head of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries said member countries of his bloc may need to invest between $70 billion and $170 billion in oil output by 2013.
But OPEC Secretary General Abdalla Salem El Badri said there is an "uncertainty gap" about how much investment will be needed based on economic recovery demand.
"There is a very real possibility of wasting financial resources on unneeded capacity," El Badri.
In remarks released Wednesday, El Badri said investment by OPEC nations could reach as much as $250 billion by 2020.
El Badri has praised current oil prices, which have remained relatively stable between $70 and $80 a barrel.
But he said price instability has the potential to create "inappropriate conditions for investments."
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