INTERVIEW - IEA says oil prices strangling recovery

OSLO Mon Nov 15, 2010 3:39pm IST

A motorist prepares to put fuel into her car at a petrol station in Melbourne July 3, 2008. REUTERS/Mick Tsikas/Files

A motorist prepares to put fuel into her car at a petrol station in Melbourne July 3, 2008.

Credit: Reuters/Mick Tsikas/Files

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OSLO (Reuters) - High oil prices are hindering economic recovery and it would not be in the interest of the oil-producing OPEC states to see oil above $90 per barrel, the chief economist of the International Energy Agency (IEA) said.

Asked if the current price of oil was starting to damage the economy, IEA chief economist Fatih Birol told Reuters on Monday: "At these high level of prices, it would definitely be a problem for economic recovery. This may well strangle the economic recovery of many... countries."

Oil prices were above $85 a barrel on Monday.

Asked if he though OPEC would change supply if oil prices topped $90, Birol said: "I think if it goes above $90 it is not a good thing for OPEC countries as well."

(Writing by Wojciech Moskwa)

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