21 June 2007 13:48 [Source: ICIS news]
PARIS (ICIS news)--OPEC on Thursday moved to calm European Union (EU) fears that seasonal increase in demand coupled with possible supply disruptions could cause the oil market to tighten during the next few months.
Speaking at the fourth ministerial-level meeting of the EU-OPEC energy dialogue, OPEC reassured the EU that the present oil market remained well supplied, with commercial crude oil stocks above the five-year average and an increasing level of upstream spare capacity.
Both sides agreed, however, the importance of continuously monitoring developments in the oil market and taking appropriate actions to minimise uncertainties along the supply chain, reduce investment risks and support long-term market stability.
Also of concern to both parties were the current shortages in skilled labour, equipment and services, both upstream and downstream, which they claimed was hampering the industry’s expansion.
Delegates at the meeting agreed on the need to promote cleaner fossil fuel technologies and stressed the necessity of further developing and deploying carbon sequestration and storage (CSS) technology.
They also reiterated their decision to set-up a task force to examine the establishment of an EU-OPEC energy technology centre.
In order to address concerns raised during the meeting, OPEC and the EU agreed to hold a workshop on the oil refining sector, including the implications of biofuels, in ?xml:namespace>
The dialogue will also carry out a study on the impact of the financial markets on oil prices and volatility, with the terms of reference to be developed jointly in the coming months.
The fifth meeting of the EU-OPEC energy dialogue will be held in
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