Iran's Khatami blames oil price slide on non-OPEC members
Iranian President Mohammad Khatami blamed the slumping crude prices on what he said was an output increase by non-OPEC oil producers, state radio reported on Saturday, October 6.
"The reason for the decrease in oil prices is an increase in production by non-OPEC producers," Khatami told his Venezuelan counterpart, Hugo Chavez during a telephone conversation late Friday cited by state radio. The Saturday report said Khatami vowed that OPEC members will "try to solve the problem," expressing hope that efforts by Iran, Venezuela and all other OPEC members and non-OPEC members will "prevent a crash in oil prices."
For his part, Chavez also expressed concern over slumping prices and the hope that OPEC and non-OPEC oil producers will "find a solution" to the problem soon, the radio said. On Friday, OPEC Secretary General Ali Rodriguez said the OPEC oil-producing cartel could cut production in response to slumping oil prices before expected US military action.
Crude prices have slumped in the wake of the terror attacks, as markets react to slowing demand from increasingly recession-hit economies around the world. OPEC, which produces 40 percent of the world's crude, held its nerve last week at a ministerial meeting in Vienna, keeping its production quotas unchanged despite slumping revenues.
But pressure has grown on OPEC to do something to prop up prices, and Rodriguez said the cartel may be forced to take action even if expected US military action is not launched immediately. "Maybe without military action we can make some decision," he said. Asked what such a decision might be, he said, "a cut in production is a possibility, but only one possibility.”
The basket price appeared to remain below $22 on Friday for the 10th trading day, making an output cut seem likely. For its part, however, the Middle East Economic Survey says in its October 8 edition that there is very little chance that the OPEC oil-producing cartel will cut production at this time. — (AFP, Tehran)
© Agence France Presse
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