Economic growth could be hindered unless crude oil prices fall from the current levels, the director of the International Energy Agency said on Sunday.

Prices are still quite high, IEA director Maria van der Hoeven told reporters at an energy conference in Saudi Arabia.

If oil prices are high on this level for a longer period it will have an impact on economic recovery, especially in developing countries.

ICE Brent crude prices settled at $107.56 (68.08 pounds) a barrel in London on Friday and have remained above $100/bbl since February.

The IEA, which represents major energy consuming countries, said in its monthly report in early November that supply and demand fundamentals are underpinning stubbornly high oil prices.

Europe is teetering on the verge of recession due to the sovereign debt crisis, and van der Hoeven told Reuters on November 16 that a tightening balance between supply and demand in the global oil market could hinder its recovery.

(Reporting by Reem Shamseddine; Writing by Daniel Fineren; Editing by Firouz Sedarat)