Market News

Crude price best at $68 to 71 per barrel

Angolan Oil Minister and Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) president Jose Maria Botelho de Vasconcelos said Friday a crude oil price of68 to 71 U.S. dollars a barrel was the best for a stable industry.

Vasconcelos told the Global Think Tank Summit in Beijing that the crude price last year reached both its highest point at 141 U.S. dollars per barrel last July and its lowest at 37 U.S. dollars in December.

The oil market was very fragile, and crude prices might suffer huge fluctuations from small incidents, he said.

OPEC considered it very important to restore the stability of the oil market, which was in the interests of producers and the consumers alike, Vasconcelos said.

The organization would remain prudent and ready to take necessary measures to ensure the development and the stability of the market, he said.

Vasconcelos’ remarks came after a nearly-4-percent slide in oil prices on Thursday as the United States lost more jobs in June than expected. A report from the U.S. Labor Department showed the unemployment rate had risen to a 26-year high of 9.5 percent.

Light, sweet crude futures for August delivery fell 2.58 U.S. dollars, or 3.7 percent, to settle at 66.73 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, after earlier touching a one-month low of 66.50 dollars.

In London, Brent crude for August delivery dropped 2.11 dollars, or 3.1 percent, to 66.68 dollars a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange.

On June 23, Vasconcelos set the target to boost oil prices to 80 dollars per barrel so as to guarantee investment, at the sixth ministerial-level meeting of the Energy Dialogue between the EU and OPEC in Vienna.

He was reported as saying OPEC’s goal was to achieve 75 U.S. dollars by year-end.

More than 900 scholars, experts and representatives from businesses around the world gathered in Beijing to discuss remedies for the global financial crisis and the development of the world economy at the Global Think Tank Summit, which opened Thursday evening.



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