OPEC: Oil Shortage Could Cause Rise in Prices

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The secretary general of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries warned that oil shortages expected to take place later this year will lead to higher oil prices and could hurt the economy.

"This shortage of 2 million barrels, if it materializes, in the third quarter and the fourth quarter, then the price will go up for sure," OPEC Secretary General Abdullah el-Badri  told the Reuters Global Energy and Climate Summit.

Still, Badri downplayed fears there would be a repeat of the 2008-oil price spike to $147, saying that OPEC had enough spare crude to tap into if there were any further disruptions.

"Even in the absence of Libya [oil output], we still have about 4.5 million barrels a day of spare capacity," he said.
   
OPEC met last week to set targets for its oil production, but the talks failed to produce a deal.
    
Meanwhile, some analysts predict oil could reach $120 or more per barrel next year. That could send gasoline prices well above $4 a gallon.

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