MADRID, July 3, 2008 (AFP) – Tensions have flared between the oil powers and consumer nations at the World Petroleum Congress this week, with no sign of common ground on how to bring down record crude prices.
After failing to find agreement at a hastily arranged summit in Saudi Arabia on June 22, this week’s industry event in Madrid has frequently resembled a dialogue of the deaf with both sides sticking to their positions.
OPEC secretary general Abdallah El-Badri called on the United States to stop “harassing OPEC countries” on Wednesday and Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono called for end to the blame game.
Consumer nations led by the United States are clamouring for more oil in a bid to cool the market.
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But most members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries remain firmly against any increase in their production and blame speculators and the fall in the dollar for the remarkable run up in prices, which have doubled in the last 12 months.
OPEC secretary general Abdallah El-Badri Wednesday denounced the “myth” of a oil shortage and blamed the crisis on speculation sparked by the subprime lending crisis in the United States.
“Seventy percent of crude con