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UAE: Oil price spike due to Mideast violence
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The surge in oil prices on Tuesday is a reaction to unrest sweeping the Middle East and not due to world market fundamentals, the energy minister of the United Arab Emirates said.

"The market is reacting to violence in the Middle East... and not to fundamentals," Mohammad bin Dhaen al-Hamli told reporters on the sidelines of a producer-consumer meeting in the Saudi capital.

Kuwaiti Oil Minister Sheikh Ahmad Abdullah al-Sabah echoed Hamli's comments, saying the current crude oil price was not solely determined by supply and demand.

"It's not the matter of supply and demand," said the minister in response to a question.

"It is because of other factors... like speculation and the political situation," he added. "Any bad political news, especially from this region, will raise the price of oil."

The ministers said OPEC, which provides around 40 percent of global supplies, would step in if and when necessary but declined to set the price at which the oil cartel would intervene.

The United Arab Emirates and Kuwait are the fourth and fifth largest OPEC producers, respectively, with each producing around 2.2 million barrels per day.

Source AFP

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