Oil prices will fall after reaching $100 a barrel and OPEC will act only if there is “something wrong with fundamentals,” said Abdalla El-Badri, the organization’s secretary-general.
Current oil prices are at “suitable levels” and the oil market is “comfortable,” El-Badri said today in Quito, Ecuador, where OPEC will meet Dec. 11 to review its output. The world economy is “emerging,” with very fast growth from China and India and “moderate” gains in OECD countries, he said.
“Prices maybe will go to $100 but it will come down,” El- Badri told reporters, adding that OPEC will make a change only if it sees something wrong with fundamentals. “If it goes to $100 because of speculation, OPEC could not move," he said.
OPEC, which supplies about 40 percent of the world’s oil, hasn’t changed quotas since late 2008, when it announced the biggest-ever reduction in output as global demand collapsed and prices plummeted.
Crude oil for January delivery fell 2 cents to $88.26 a barrel at 12:37 p.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Crude reached $90.76, a two-year high, in intraday trading Dec. 7.
Shokri Ghanem, chairman of Libya’s National Oil Corp., said in an interview yesterday that OPEC may alter its production strategy next year if prices breach $100.
‘‘At this time the market is in a really comfortable way and we don’t want to disturb it,” El-Badri said. Compliance with OPEC’s existing output guidelines is 55 percent this month and about 61 percent as an average for 2010, he said.
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