Kuwait says oil prices too high, welcomes use of US reserves
Kuwait said Friday the current oil price was "above expectations" and that it would welcome a US decision to dip into its strategic reserve in order to stabilise the oil market.
"We have tried every possibility and wholeheartedly called for raising output to cut prices which have become above our expectations," the oil minister, Sheikh Saud Nasser al-Sabah, told reporters.
"The use of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) is an American decision. If they think it serves the US interests, we (would) welcome it... If this decision would lead to stability in the market, we warmly welcome it. We hope oil prices will stabilise," he said.
US President Bill Clinton is considering whether to release some oil from the country's reserve, which was set aside in the 1970s for energy emergencies, to lower the cost of gas and home heating oil.
Kuwait says it produces its full OPEC quota of 2.101 million barrels per day (bpd) despite limited capacity, but Al-Shall Economic Consultants insists the emirate exceeds that level by some 100,000 barrels.
The Kuwaiti minister, who is scheduled to leave for Caracas Saturday to represent the emirate at the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries summit, also welcomed a call for dialogue between producers and consumer countries to control prices.
"We were among the first to call for the dialogue. We need it to stop accusing each other. I am pleased France has taken the initiative in this respect, and we are ready for any discussion in this field.
"But we believe that the 75-percent tax on fuel particularly in European countries is unfair, and we must study this issue carefully with consumers," the minister said.
Oil prices continued to fall on Friday after climbing in the beginning of the week.Prices dropped after the US government said it was considering releasing oil from its reserve to bring down prices.
The benchmark Brent North Sea crude oil for delivery in November was selling for 32.75 dollars a barrel in London on Friday afternoon, against 33.22 dollars a week previously.
Oil prices reached their highest levels since the 1990 Gulf War in London on Monday, when a barrel of Brent soared to 34.98 dollars.—AFP.
©--Agence Ftance Presse.
© 2000 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)