Mideast unrest 'key' uncertainty for oil: IEA

31st January 2011, Comments 0 comments

The deputy head of the International Energy Agency warned on Monday that political unrest in North Africa and the Middle East was a "key" uncertainty hanging over oil markets.

Richard Jones, deputy executive director of the IEA, underlined that OPEC and non-OPEC producers had enough capacity to cope with demand and avoid a surge to the record 110 dollar a barrel high seen in 2008.

"All in all, market fundamentals could potentially impose a ceiling on prices for the next few months at least," Jones told a UN seminar on commodities markets

"However I want to stress that key uncertainties remain."

"I mentioned the strength of the economic recovery, demand being one of those, but another one is the unfolding developments in the Mideast - North Africa region at this time, and we're all watching those very carefully obviously," he added.

World oil prices rose close to 100 dollars a barrel earlier on Monday on fears that violent unrest in Egypt could disrupt the flow of oil through the Suez Canal on its way to the West, analysts said.

© 2011 AFP

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