OPEC likely to increase oil production

June 8, 2011 - 5:44 AM

Austria OPEC Meeting

Minister of Energy Mohamed bin Dhaen Al Hamli from the United Arab Emirates talks to journalists as he arrives a hotel for a meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting countries, OPEC, in Vienna, Austria, on Tuesday, June 7, 2011. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)

VIENNA (AP) — OPEC oil ministers have begun a meeting that will likely end with a decision to raise crude output levels to reduce international concerns about the high price of oil.

Ahead of their closed meeting Wednesday, Mohammed bin Dhaen al-Hamli, the oil minister for the United Arab Emirates, spoke of "tight" supplies. He added that "If there is a need for more oil, we will supply more oil."

OPEC President Mohammad Aliabadi of Iran spoke of a "nervous six months for the oil market."

Uprisings in Libya and Yemen have created jitters about OPEC's ability to pump enough oil. The economic downturn has added to uncertainties, with consuming countries saying present prices of benchmark crude at around $100 a barrel are unaffordable in the long run.