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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

OPEC Leader Says Market Lacking Refining Capacity

ABU DHABI -- International oil markets have enough oil, but a lack of capacity to refine it is contributing to high prices, OPEC's president told reporters Sunday.

"Current supplies to the petroleum market are sufficient," OPEC President and United Arab Emirates Oil Minister Mohammed al-Hamli said before traveling to Vienna to attend an OPEC meeting Tuesday.

Ahead of the meeting, several ministers from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries said there was no need for the group to change output, despite pressure from consuming countries to open the taps to bring down prices.

Hamli said commercial stocks in industrialized countries were higher than they had been for the past five years.

OPEC is committed to supplying enough oil for consumers, Hamli said, and has spare capacity of around 3.5 million barrels per day if needed.

The group's output is just over 30 million bpd, he said. OPEC produced 30.4 million bpd in August, over one-third of the world's 85 million bpd supply, according to a Reuters survey.

OPEC members have embarked on more than 100 projects with investment value of over $120 billion to increase production capacity, Hamli said. That is aside from projects to boost oil infrastructure and refining capacity, he added.

"This confirms OPEC's commitment to providing sufficient supplies of crude oil to the world markets," he said.

The world economy is showing strong growth this year despite taking a knock from the U.S. credit crunch, he said. He expected growth to stay strong next year. Oil demand growth is dependent on economic expansion.