Opec says oil price level not harmful to world economy

PARIS (REUTERS) - The current level of oil prices is not harmful to the global economy and on the contrary supports energy investments, the secretary general of oil exporting group Opec said on Thursday.

Oil prices have averaged about US$110 (S$137) per barrel this year.

After early signs of stabilisation in the world economy, the last month has seen a series of setbacks with US and European recovery stuttering.

"We believe current price levels are supportive of the energy future we portray, and will not harm the global economy,"

Opec Secretary General Abdallah Al-Badri told an oil conference in Paris. "The oil price as we see it now is comfortable for producers and consumers."

Mr Badri added: "If prices fall below certain levels, then many investors will find their developments no longer viable."

Opec crude oil output is on course to reach its lowest since Oct 2011 this month as unrest in Libya, pipeline leaks in Nigeria and Iraqi export disruptions weigh on supplies, a Reuters survey found last week.

The survey indicated top Opec exporter Saudi Arabia was still keeping a lid on output.

Opec is scheduled to meet on May 31 in Vienna to review its output policy for the second half of the year.

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