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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

OPEC Rejects Moscow Call for Output Hike

OPEC Secretary-General Alvaro Silva on Tuesday rejected a call from Russia for the oil cartel to raise production to dampen high crude prices.

Speaking in Moscow, Silva said world oil supplies were sufficient and that fundamentals did not warrant current high prices.

"The concern today is more for a low price than a high price," Silva told reporters at an energy conference.

Silva said supply-demand fundamentals suggested prices, now near the top end of OPEC's $22-$28 price target, were too high.

"There are many circumstances outside of the control of OPEC which make the price high," he said.

"Prices nevertheless remain sometimes high due to political reasons like Venezuela or Nigeria but there are no fundamental reasons for oil prices remaining high."

The two OPEC nations have suffered supply problems over the past year after a failed coup attempt in Venezuela and civil disturbances in Nigeria.

Energy Minister Igor Yusufov on Monday called on OPEC to raise production, saying prices were too high, even for Russia, the world's second-largest oil exporter and OPEC's biggest independent rival. OPEC cut output in September, sending prices last month to a postwar high of $32.50 a barrel for U.S. crude. U.S. crude on Tuesday was valued at $28.69.

Non-OPEC Russia, financing swift growth in production, habitually pumps at full capacity, although it did cooperate with OPEC to cap output for a short time early last year after a price fall.

Silva said supplies and inventories were sufficient.

"The fact is there is enough oil on the market at the moment and we forecast enough oil in the coming year. The level of stocks is good," he said.

OPEC meets on Dec. 4 to set first quarter output policy having cut production at its last meeting in September by 900,000 barrels per day, effective from this month.