BP Economist Says OPEC Needs To Raise Output

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BP, Europe's second-largest oil company, said OPEC, which is responsible for about 40% of the world's oil supply, will need to increase supply by about 1 million barrels per day in an effort to balance supply and demand factors in global oil markets.

Mark Finley, BP's general manager for global energy markets, said with Libyan production remaining offline OPEC will need to increase output by 1 million barrels per day to ''calibrate supply and demand,'' Dow Jones reported. The comments were made at BP's Statistical Review of World Energy in Houston today.

Finely added the wide spread between NYMEX-traded West Texas Intermediate crude and Brent crude will narrow over time, but he added that it is difficult to surmise whether that will be a result of Brent prices falling or West Texas prices rising. The split between U.S. WTI prices and prices throughout the energy chain is unusual because typically WTI and Brent are within about $1 per barrel of each other, Dow Jones reported.

BP (BP) added that it sees the spread between currently depressed U.S. natural gas prices and international prices correcting itself as market forces take shape.