IEA Head Says OPEC Is Pumping Enough Crude to Meet Current Needs

OPEC, which pumps 40 percent of the world’s crude, currently provides global markets with a sufficient supply, International Energy Agency Executive Director Maria van der Hoeven said.

Most members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries are producing at close to their output capacity, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

“The question is not whether OPEC has enough spare capacity or not,” Van der Hoeven said today in an interview in Riyadh. “The question is: Is current demand being met by OPEC? Yes, demand is being met.”

Crude prices are high and at a level that may affect demand in developing countries if they persist for long, Van der Hoeven told reporters in the Saudi capital yesterday. Current prices are not the result of economic growth, as the global economy is not expanding at a rapid rate, she said. The Paris-based IEA advises the U.S. and other wealthy oil-importing nations.

Crude oil for January delivery fell as much as $2.06 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange and was at $96.25 a barrel at 8:57 a.m. local time. Brent crude for January settlement was at $106.90 a barrel, down 66 cents on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange.

To contact the reporter on this story: Wael Mahdi in Riyadh at wmahdi@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephen Voss at sev@bloomberg.net

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