UAE minister: Oil market fairly well supplied

Associated Press + More

By ADAM SCHRECK, Associated Press

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — The top energy official in the United Arab Emirates said Thursday that the OPEC producer believes the oil market is reasonably well supplied for now.

Energy Minister Mohammed bin Dhaen al-Hamli also told reporters in Dubai that the UAE is satisfied with current oil prices, which have been edging higher in recent days.

"Yes, we are happy with the price," al-Hamli said on the sidelines of an event to announce an upcoming energy conference in the Mideast commercial hub. "The market is fairly well supplied," he added.

His comments suggest the UAE does not see a need for urgent adjustments to crude output by the 12-member producer bloc. The country stands willing to supply customers with oil as they need it, al-Hamli added.

"They ask for a quote, we give them a quote," he said.

Prices for benchmark U.S. crude oil have risen to around $90 a barrel over the past week.

The oil minister of Kuwait, another Gulf oil producer, last week described the global oil market as relatively stable.

Oil traders have been closely watching the effect on global oil supplies after a European Union ban on Iranian oil came into full effect July 1.

The UAE is currently producing about 2.6 million barrels of oil, which mostly comes from the emirate of Abu Dhabi, home to the federation's capital.

The Emirates on Sunday inaugurated a much-anticipated overland oil pipeline that bypasses the Strait of Hormuz, the route for a fifth of the world's oil supply. Iran has repeatedly threatened to block the waterway at the mouth of the Gulf if its own supplies are cut.

The new Emirati pipeline, which ends at the Indian Ocean port of Fujairah, is designed to carry at least 1.5 million barrels a day of crude. Peak capacity is expected to eventually rise to 1.8 million barrels daily.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.