IEA executive director Tanaka told reporters on the sidelines of an industry conference that Opec “needs to show more flexibility” in increasing oil production according to Reuters. “If the current price continues, it will have a negative impact,” he said. Oil hit a record $147 a barrel in 2008, and there are fears that prices could rise significantly above $100 if Opec does not signal its intent to lift supplies.
Nonetheless, United Arab Emirates Oil Minister Mohammed Al-Hamli downplayed the IEA’s concerns, saying that fluctuating oil prices were not a cause for concern. “The price keeps going up and down, and all I can say for now is that we are happy,” Al-Hamli said. The minister claimed markets continued to be well supplied and added he expected positive growth in demand is going forward.