Page last updated at 11:43 GMT, Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Opec says oil supply increase 'worrying'

Oil being pumped in Bahrain

Oil producers' cartel Opec has told the BBC that compliance with production targets fell to 55-56% last month compared with 80% a year ago.

Secretary General Abdalla Salem El-Badri told the BBC's Business Daily programme the move was "worrying".

"The risk is you see a lot of oil in the market and no one is buying it. Then the price will come down."

At its last meeting in Angola, Opec decided not to change the amount of oil being produced by its members.

Oil prices have doubled from their lows of December 2008, but are way down on the record $147 a barrel reached in July 2008. US light, sweet crude is trading at about $78 a barrel - its highest level in two weeks.

Mr El-Badri said: "We need a price where we can invest in new capacity, new supply and also cater for the wealth of our people. Anything below $70 will not permit us to invest."

He also said that while the global recovery was "still fragile", Opec was experiencing growing demand from China, India and the Middle East.

Opec countries produce about 40% of the world's oil supply and have nearly 80% of the world's crude reserves.

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