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Doha, Dec 7, 2011 (AFP)
The head of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) on Wednesday described current oil prices as “satisfactory” to both consumers and producers, insisting a “decent” price is needed to encourage investments in production.

“Average oil price this year is satisfactory for producers and consumers,” OPEC Secretary General Abdullah El-Badri told participants at the World Petroleum Congress in Doha.

“This year, the oil market has been in constant flux,” he said, citing uncertainties over global economic growth, Japan’s multiple disasters and unrest in North Africa and the Middle East.

But he insisted that there was “no shortage of oil.”

Members of OPEC are meeting on December 14 in Vienna, but many member states have indicated that there will be no changes to production, despite a quicker-than-expected resumption of Libyan oil output.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, whose country is a founding member of OPEC, on Tuesday called oil prices fair and said his government would push to keep them at current levels.

He said that a price between $100 and $120 a barrel was “fair”.

Crude prices edged up in Asia on Wednesday as traders awaited a European Union summit later this week that will focus on finding a resolution to the region’s debt crisis.

New York’s main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in January, gained 15 cents to $101.43 a barrel in the afternoon.

Brent North Sea crude for January delivery rose three cents to $110.84.

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