Biofuels ‘will push up oil price’

INTERNATIONAL. The chief of the OPEC oil cartel has warned that investing in biofuels could push oil prices “through the roof”, the Financial Times has reported.

OPEC Secretary General Abdalla El-Badri said moves to use biofuels would make his members consider cutting investment in new oil production, the FT said.

President Bush says the US will cut petrol use by 20% in ten years, partly through increased use of biofuels. OPEC members control about 40% of the world’s oil production.

El-Badri said that while OPEC members had so far maintained their investment plans, he added: “If we are unable to see a security of demand…we may revisit investment in the long term.”

The warning came as leaders of the G8 industrialised nations gathered for their summit in Germany last week at which environmental issues were put high on the agenda and the use of biofuels is central to the attempts of many G8 countries to cut their carbon emissions.

Biofuels can be anything made with vegetable matter that burns. They can be used to replace some or all of the petrol used in vehicles.

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