OPEC chief: Strong demand will keep oil prices up

July 6, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
OPEC chief Chakib Khelil says the world's surging oil prices are not likely to fall. He says strong market demand, especially from China and India, is one reason prices will stay as high as they are.

But Khelil told a conference on energy in Algiers on Sunday that the steady increases of late "have nothing to do with supply and demand."

Khelil, who serves as Algeria's energy minister, blames the rise on the weak U.S. dollar, the currency that oil is sold in.

He says he believes the reason the dollar has fallen against other currencies is the U.S. decision to lower interest rates in an effort to boost the American economy.

Oil prices hit a record of nearly $146 last week.

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