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  • bluecheese4u bluecheese4u Nov 16, 2007 2:59 PM Flag

    "These prices are potentially dangerous, especially if they remain high."

    "These prices are potentially dangerous, especially if they remain high."

    For OPEC, high oil prices bring riches and risk
    By Jad Mouawad Published: November 16, 2007

    RIYADH: As oil prices hover around $95 a barrel, OPEC should be in a celebratory mood: Its members are reaping record revenue, demand for their product keeps rising, and the world economy seems capable of sustaining oil prices that would have seemed suicidal just a few years ago.

    But the oil cartel is facing an increasingly uncertain environment. There are mounting fears of a global economic slowdown, an endlessly depreciating dollar, and growing concerns about the effect of fossil fuels on the planet's climate.

    As leaders of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries meet in the capital of Saudi Arabia for a rare summit meeting this weekend, there are signs that high oil prices are a mixed blessing for producers.

    "We cannot remain complacent," Mohamed al-Hamli, the oil minister for the United Arab Emirates said. "These prices are potentially dangerous, especially if they remain high."

    But in recent days, the oil ministers have resisted calls to increase their output in order to help ease prices. In fact, they ruled out a decision on output until the group's next meeting in Abu Dhabi on Dec. 5. Saudi Arabia in particular is eager not to overshadow the meeting of heads of state with a discussion about supplies and prices.

    Still, many officials were relieved to see oil prices fall back from their records above $98 a barrel last week. No one here wished to see oil reach the politically charged figure of $100 just as OPEC leaders were meeting in Riyadh.

    Oil futures, which have grown four-fold in the past four years, rose $1.27 to $94.70 a barrel for December delivery in late afternoon trading on Friday.

    Instead, the two-day meeting will focus on longer-term issues like security of supplies and environmental policy, an odd topic for a group that sells a carbon intensive product. But OPEC is eager to show its green credentials, especially ahead of a United Nations meeting on climate change in Bali, Indonesia, next month.

    The group is expected to start an environmental initiative for producers and consumers that will fund the capture and storage of carbon dioxide.

    "We do not like policies that discriminate against petroleum or fossil fuels in general," said Ali al-Naimi, the Saudi oil minister, at a press conference on Tuesday. "It behooves us to find a technological process that will make the continued use of fossil fuels possible."

    OPEC's 12 members, an eclectic group that includes Libya, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia and the latest member, Angola, account for about 40 percent of the

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    • money talks, bullshite walks... these guys would steal a penny off their dead mothers eye if they knew they could get away with it. They may be concerned about high prices for public show, but believe me, they're giddy as hell.

      I really don't care if it goes to $100... there's money to be made by everyone if it's played right.

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