Gaddafi suggests halt pumping for a year or two
In a letter, published in Libyan newspapers on Monday, Gaddafi's in responding to Chavez's call on it's Sunday Television "Alo, Presidente" program to OPEC members to fight efforts to reduce the price of oil, Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi said in a letter to Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, that Oil-producing nations should consider stopping all pumping for one or two years to fend off any attempts to lower world oil prices.
Chavez on it's Sunday "Alo, Presidente" had accused some oil-consuming countries of playing "a dirty game" of trying to push prices below $10 a barrel.
"Since the issue is one of aggression on the resources of the people of OPEC, then our last resort might be halting oil pumping completely for a year or two," Gaddafi said in his letter.
Halting production, Gaddafi wrote, is "a means of defending ourselves and our interests."
OPEC's President Ali Rodriguez, said on local Venezuelan newspapers, that the U.S. is partly to blame for the drop in prices because it released 30 million barrels into a market in which inventories were building. "If OPEC doesn't take action, prices could collapse."
On December 18 the president-elect told congressional leaders, according to his spokesman, Ari Fleischer, that "I'm not going to allow the working people of this country to suffer.
We must be concerned in this country about energy. We must be concerned about shortages and at the same time, obviously, concerned about preservation."
Last Wednesday, US President-elect George W. Bush said that he was planning to open a dialogue with OPEC states in the hope of convincing them to increase production to avert a possible energy crisis in the US.
"One of the things we're going to have to do is to start up a strong diplomatic effort to work with our friends in the Middle East to have an energy policy that is respectful to their friends here and other democracies.
The quickest impact on the price of crude oil will be to work with OPEC nations, and to foster relations so that they may be convinced to open up the spigots to keep the pressure off prices."
OPEC President Ali Rodriguez gave a mixed response to Bush's remarks. "There are many is-sues we would like to discuss with Bush, now that he has made a positive announcement about possible agreements between OPEC and consumers ¯ issues such as correcting the problem of speculation in the markets, the problems of refined products and transportation."
Rodriguez rejected Bush's call for OPEC to increase production. "OPEC has already opened the spigots significantly this year and raised supply by nearly 4 million barrels per day (b/d). At the moment there is oversupply of oil and inventories have risen a lot."
According to MEES sources, Deputy Prime Minister 'Abd Allah Al-Badri sent a message on December 17 to this effect to OPEC member states, adding that the organization should waste no time in being decisive.
Previous experience had shown, he said, that when OPEC had procrastinated before making production cuts the situation had been further aggravated.
OPEC President and Venezuela Energy Minister said Friday to reporters that OPEC will cut automatically 500.00 barrels per day on Jan 8, if prices continue under $ 22.00.
"If these prices continue, below the lower limit of the ($22-28/bbl) price band, all members are in a unanimous accord to automatically cut production in 500.000 barrels per day, on January 8 ".
Rodrigues added, on Jan. 17, oil ministers would have a better idea of the evolution of the market." We are looking very carefully at what is happening in the market - we have to analyze that." And reiterated Venezuela's view that there's a 1.4 million barrel a day oversupply in the market.
© 2000 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)