Press Statement by Abdalla Salem El-Badri, OPEC Secretary General

No 7/2007
Vienna, Austria
11 Jul 2007

"High oil prices, which we are now witnessing, are not a consequence of insufficient crude supplies. Inventory data, continues to demonstrate that crude stocks are ample. US crude stocks are now at 9 year highs. While OECD stocks are healthy, and are above their 5 year average. This data, therefore, shows us very clearly, that current high oil prices are not in any way related to crude supplies.

Inadequate refinery capacity, ongoing glitches in US refinery operations, geopolitical tensions and increased speculation in the futures market are, however, driving high oil prices. So even if OPEC were to supply the market with additional crude at this time, these refinery-related problems mean that any extra barrels would not be refined into products.

OPEC is closely observing developments in the global oil market, including the current price trend. If the Organization sees any evidence that oil prices are rising because of a shortage of crude, which does not exist at this time, it will not hesitate to act immediately to alleviate any such deficit."