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EU and OPEC Discuss Biofuels

The European Union has committed to get 20% of its fuel from renewable sources by 2020, and OPEC is concerned about losing market share.

Top representatives of the E.U. and OPEC will meet Thursday to discuss European energy policy and future investment in oil production. A key item on the agenda will be Europe's biofuels policy.

OPEC is worried that the European commitment to increase the share of biofuels to 20% of total fuel sources by 2020 will hurt the demand for OPEC's oil.

"If we keep seeing the data from now until 2030 that a certain quantity of biofuel is introduced to the market and that will reduce demand...then it is our right to reduce our investment," OPEC General Secretary Abdalla Salem el-Badri tells Dow Jones newswires.

Biofuels are currently under the microscope over their claimed environmental benefits and the strain they may put on the food supply chain. El-Badri suggested that if a lot of investment was diverted away from crude oil production and into biofuels which ultimately failed to deliver the benefits promised, that risked spurring oil prices higher.

"I would like the E.U to understand our concerns," el-Badri adds.

E.U. officials said Wednesday their biofuel target wouldn't lower worldwide oil demand and could only marginally affect OPEC investment.

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