High oil prices are due to international political tensions and speculation and not supply and demand fundamentals, UAE Oil Minister Mohammed al-Hamli said on Monday.
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) was monitoring the markets after prices hit $100 per barrel last week, state news agency WAM quoted Hamli as saying.
"Hamli attributed the increase in oil prices to $100 a barrel to speculation by traders and investment funds and geopolitical turbulence and other factors that are not related to fundamentals," WAM said.
Opec was committed to ensuring sufficient crude supply and fair prices, he said. WAM did not report what Hamli considered to be a fair price.
Hamli's comments echoed the words of several Opec ministers that have said factors other than supply are driving oil's record run.
US crude futures hit a record of $100.09 on Thursday but have since eased to $98.21 a barrel on concern about the economy of the United States, the world's largest energy consumer.
Opec, supplier of more than a third of the world's oil, decided to keep output steady at its meeting in Abu Dhabi last month, rejecting calls from consumer nations for more supply to ease high prices.
The United Arab Emirates is the world's fifth largest oil exporter. Hamli made the comments in a meeting with Japan's Trade Minister Akira Amari in the UAE's capital, WAM said. (Reuters)
Oil high due to politics, says UAE