Hedge funds are an important players in the oil market, but some do not comprehend how it works, a senior Opec official has said. Mohammad Barkindo, the cartel’s secretary-general, met hedge fund and money managers on Monday in Houston to build a relationship with traders that Opec once maligned. Funds this year amassed 1bn barrels equivalent of net bets on higher crude oil prices, helping fan bullish market sentiment. Opec leaders began such meetings about a year ago as they put in place a historic agreement to remove 1.8m barrels per day of supply from the world oil market. The move buoyed crude prices, revived fortunes for oil producers and lured hedge funds to futures markets. Mr Barkindo said fund managers have shed light on the complexity of financial markets, but some also revealed they were less savvy than was widely assumed. “Several of them had little or no experience or even a basic understanding of how the physical oil market works,” he said.