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07.06.2007 Business & Finance

Bio-fuels could lead to high oil prices – OPEC

By D. Graphic

The Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) has warned that the drive for environment – friendly bio-fuel risked pushing oil prices “through the roof,” the Financial Times reported Wednesday.

OPEC Secretary-General Abdalla El-Badri told the business daily that the development of bio-fuels had made the powerful cartel consider cutting investment in new oil production.

“If we are unable to see a security of demand we may revisit investment in th long term,” the newspaper quoted him as saying.

The FT said El-Badri also warned that bio-fuel output could become unsustainable because it competed with food production.

The 12-nation OPEC oil producers' carted pumps more than a third of global crude supplies.

Meanwhile, the oil markets saw little change as prices appeared positioned for an increase due to the storm that is likely to hit the Arabian Peninsula.

Light, sweet crude for July delivery slipped two cents to $65.59a barrel by midday in Europe in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude for July gained 13 cents to $70.58 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange in London.

“The latest on the storm indicates it will hit land in southeastern Iran – which could possibly disrupt shipping through the Arabian Gulf, and that's caused some concern in the trading community,” he said.

Cyclone Gonu menaced Oman's central coast with strong winds and rain early Wednesday and forecasters said it was expected to hit land in southeaster Iran later in the day or early Thursday. The Joint Typhoon Warning Centre, a U.S. military task force that tracks storms in the Pacific and Indian oceans, predicted rough seas in the Straits of Hormuz, the transport route for two-fifths of the world's oil and the southern entrance to the Gulf.

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