Kate Mackenzie EU to Opec: $70 oil is OK

Some interesting lines out of the EU-Opec meeting in Vienna today, although the annual meeting is usually a relatively staid affair. The EU’s energy commissioner, Andris Piebalgs, says $70 oil is tolerable for the fragile world economy. He’s possibly the first western official to name a price:

From Reuters:

For the fragile world economy, $80 could be alarming, but
representing the European Union, Energy Commissioner Andris
Piebalgs said a price approaching $70 was not damaging.
“What we also discussed in our meeting is that $70 per
barrel, the current price, definitely does not impede the
recovery of the economy,” he said.
“We really believe the current situation has some good
stability. If it continues it will be a chance for (economic)
recovery and also guarantee that upstream investments will
continue.”

Meanwhile, the EU said more regulation was needed to curb oil speculators:

“The 2008 bubble could be repeated if adequate regulatory
reforms, including greater transparency, (are) not made as part
of an overall reshaping of the global financial sector,” the
European Union said in a statement issued following the talks in
Vienna. It said the meeting had agreed the role of speculation in
financial markets “had not been resolved.”

Related links:

Roubini warns of oil double-whammy (FT Energy Source, 22/06/09)
Brown’s fear of high oil prices (FT Energy Source, 22/06/09)
Rising crude and inflationary expectations (FT Energy Source, 16/06/09)
What Monty Python can tell us about commodities
(FT Energy Source, 15/06/09)