UPDATE 2-IEA head: oil market tight, high oil price a threat

Wed Nov 16, 2011 9:26am GMT

* Up to OPEC to boost output in Dec -IEA executive director

* Unwise for gas producers to form a global cartel -Van der Hoeven

* Japan's oil demand to rise by 460,000 bpd, gas by 30 bcm in 2012 if zero nuclear power output (Recasts, adds details)

By Osamu Tsukimori

TOKYO, Nov 16 (Reuters) - The oil market is tightening and high oil prices are already hurting growth in developing economies and threaten any economic recovery in Europe, the head of the International Energy Agency (IEA) said on Wednesday.

Brent crude has averaged over $111 a barrel this year, up from just over $80 in 2010, adding to manufacturing costs and leaving consumers with less disposable income.

"The oil market has been tightening over 2011," Maria van der Hoeven told Reuters on the sidelines of an energy event in Tokyo. "Stocks have been tightening."

The IEA said in its monthly report last week that supply and demand fundamentals were underpinning stubbornly high prices.

Despite the threat that fuel costs pose to economic growth, producer group OPEC has given no indication it plans to change output levels at its next meeting in December.   Continued...

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