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OPEC President: No Need to Raise Oil Production

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries sees no need to raise oil production to counter high oil prices, the OPEC President said on Sunday.

"No," said Chakib Khelil, who is also Algeria's Energy and Mines Minister, when asked by reporters whether OPEC would raise production. "I don't think that any increase in production will have an impact on prices.

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There is a balance between supply and demand," he said, speaking during a visit to Kuwait. "Even if we raised the production we may not find a buyer," Khelil said.

He added a previous output increase had failed to bring prices down.

"We raised output last year and there was an increase in prices not decrease." A falling dollar was a main factor behind the surge in oil prices, he said.

"The decline in the dollar is having a direct impact on oil prices ... When the dollar is declining by 1 percent, the oil prices will increase by about 4 dollars," Khelil said.

U.S. crude hit a record high of $117 a barrel on Friday.

Khelil said OPEC wanted an "appropriate" price, suiting both consumers and producers, but declined to say what that price level would be. "What is appropriate for buyers and sellers," he only said.

He also said OPEC had the ability to raise output by 2 million barrels per day, according to Kuwaiti state news agency KUNA.

The majority of such an output increase could come from major oil-exporters such as Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Libya, Venezuela and Nigeria, KUNA quoted him as saying.

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