Opec calls for emergency meeting

Move prompted by concerns over falling oil prices spurred by the global financial crisis.

    Oil has almost halved in price from nearly $150 in July since the global financial crisis hit [AFP]

    However, since then the price has fallen by almost 50 per cent.

    Monday brought some cheer to oil producers when prices rose $3 as global markets rallied in the wake of efforts launched by Western governments to rescue banks.

    Britain, Germany, France, Italy and other European governments all announced rescue packages, while Washington is developing plans to buy equity in financial institutions.

    US crude gained $3.05 to $80.75 a barrel by 1:55pm EDT (1755 GMT).

    London Brent crude rose $2.53 to $76.62 barrel.

    Impact of crisis

    Saadallah Fathi, head of Opec's energy studies department, told Al Jazeera: "The conditions in the world economy don't support policy that would cut oil production and bring prices back to high level.

    "The price of oil is secondary to the condition of the world economy due to the banking crisis around world.

    "It is in the interests of Opec for the market to simmer down and for the economy to recover, and demand will recover and probably oil prices with it.

    "Oil prices won't go down much further, maybe to $70 dollars per barrel.

    "But if the current management of the financial crisis is proved to be successful, then we are likely to see a speedier recovery in the oil market, but definitely won't see high oil prices of around $150 per barrel for some time to come."

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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