OPEC sees US$170 per barrel of oil

Thursday, June 26, 2008

An offshore oil and gas platform

The president of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) Chakib Khelil predicts that prices of world crude oil could reach the US$150 to $170 range per barrel before this year's summer ends.

In an interview on the French news channel France24, Khelil who is also Algeria's energy minister, also stated that prices won't reach $200 per barrel when asked as to how far would prices would go up.

During the interview, Khelil said that prices would depend on how far the United States puts pressure on oil producer Iran, over its nuclear program and on the stability of the euro, Europe's currency.

In a transcript of the France24 interview, the OPEC President said, "I think that the devaluation of the dollar against the euro, if everything goes as I think it will, will be of the order of perhaps 1-2 percent and this will probably generate an $8 rise in the price of oil," he said.

The OPEC president blamed the weakness of the U.S. dollar as the main reason for the current prices of oil.

Khelil was also quoted saying, "You can see it, every time there is a strengthening of the dollar, there's a drop in prices."

Come September, Khelil said that the thirteen member countries of OPEC will review its hands off policy on the sky rocketing prices of world crude oil.

Western nations has been pressuring OPEC to increase oil production to halt the soaring oil prices.