OPEC may consider raising production in 2011 in order to meet higher demand, according to the oil minister of Saudi Arabia.

During a press conference, minister Ali al-Naimi noted that global oil demand could increase by about 2 about this year. Given that crude oil prices are almost touching the $100 or barrel level, a rise in output could help contain more price increases.

The Saudi Minister noted that non-OPEC countries have begun increasing their oil production, placing pressure on OPEC to do likewise.

I expect prices to remain at the same level as last year, al-Naimi said.

The Saudi minister’s comments would appear to contradict statements by other OPEC officials who recently stated that production was unlikely to rise this year.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) declared last week that global demand was climbing and that $100 oil risked the global economic recovery.