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OPEC Head Says Oil Market Is Well Supplied

Sept. 19 (Bloomberg) -- The global oil market is well supplied, OPEC’s spare production capacity is at “comfortable levels” and commercial oil inventories “remain healthy,” OPEC Secretary-General Abdalla Salem El-Badri said.

“There is no shortage of oil anywhere in the world,” El-Badri said today in a speech at the European Mineral Resources Conference in Leoben, Austria, according to a transcript on OPEC’s website. “This is expected to continue.”

Crude futures have fallen this week after trading over $100 a barrel in New York on Sept. 14, the highest in more than four months. Saudi Arabia is taking action to reduce prices by pumping about 10 million barrels a day and is willing to produce more, a Persian Gulf official with knowledge of the matter said yesterday, declining to be identified.

Futures dropped to as little as $92.10 a barrel today on the New York Mercantile exchange, the lowest since Aug. 13.

El-Badri reiterated that while the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries doesn’t have an official price target it recognizes the importance of stable prices at a level that doesn’t inhibit economic growth yet allows producers to earn a “decent” income and invest in future output.

“While the price has witnessed both ups and downs in 2012, this volatility has not been because of market fundamentals,” he said. “Speculation has been behind much of the price volatility.”

El-Badri also said in his speech that the oil and gas industry needs to attract more graduates to fill places for skilled workers.

OPEC comprises Algeria, Angola, Ecuador, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Venezuela. The group plans to meet next on Dec. 12.

To contact the reporter on this story: Stephen Voss in London at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephen Voss at

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