The world 'is not' running out of oil says Saudi's Opec governor

On The Wires: Saudi Arabia's Opec governor has hit back at 'oil pessimists' insisting the world is not running of oil.

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Last Updated: May 12, 2011

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BRUSSELS // Saudi Arabia's governor to Opec refuted forecasts that the world is running out of oil and said the "sustainable" long-term price is $70 to $80 a barrel.

"Contrary to some oil pessimists — because there has been talk of oil peaks — the world's oil resources have actually increased," Majid Al-Moneef, Saudi Arabia's governor to the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, said today in Brussels. "That's despite accumulative production that was close to 500 billion barrels. So the message is that the resource base is plentiful. So the future is still potentially promising."

Oil producers aren't constrained by supplies or extraction technologies, Mr Al-Moneed said. "The problem is not oil underground," he said. "It's the investment climate needed."

While crude fell below $100 a barrel this week in New York on concerns about global demand, prices are above what is sustainable over the long-term, Mr Al-Moneef said.

"Our view has been that a sustainable price over the long-run is $70-80 per barrel"