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Oil prices remain threat to world economy, says IEA

Chief economist at the IEA said Europe is especially vulnerable to high prices

Oil prices close to $110 a barrel remain in the 'red zone' for the world economy, with Europe especially vulnerable to high energy costs, the International Energy Agency's (IEA) chief economist said. "We see signs of moderate recovery in OECD countries but there are significant risks to major oil importers," Fatih Birol told Petroleum Economist in an interview. Europe is most fragile, he added, because its oil-linked natural gas contracts continue to inflate electricity prices, too. He also drew a contrast between struggling consumer countries and Opec, for which the "good years continue". The group's production has increased by just 1.4 million barrels a day (b/d), or less than 5%, since 20

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