Kuwait, Venezuela say no need to hike output
KUWAIT CITY, July 12 (AFP) - OPEC members Kuwait and Venezuela said Wednesday the oil market is stable and there is no need to hike production at present.
"We had an agreement at Vienna and we have to comply with it. If necessary we will seize the opportunity to take the appropriate decision, but not now," OPEC President and Venezuelan Energy Minister Ali Rodriguez said in Kuwait.
He was referring to the OPEC meeting in Vienna on June 21 which decided to up production by 708,000 barrels per day from July 1 and to pump more oil into the market if the average price of crude remained more than 28 dollars a barrel for 20 working days.
"We have a mechanism to guarantee stability of the market and keep the price between 22 and 28 dollars a barrel," said Rodriguez on arrival in Kuwait for a short visit as part of a tour of OPEC member states to discuss the international oil market and production levels.
Kuwait's Oil Minister Sheikh Saud Nasser al-Sabah agreed there was no call for action at present, describing the market as "satisfactory."
He said there were "no signs of disunity" among members of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries.
The Kuwaiti minister denied on Friday that any agreement had been struck between the emirate, Saudi Arabia and other Gulf producers to pump more oil into the market immediately to bring prices down.
"These reports are fabricated and without foundation, and aim at creating chaos in the international oil markets," Sheikh Saud said.
Sheikh Saud's comments followed reports that claimed main Gulf producers were planning to increase output by 500,000 barrels per day (bpd) in the coming days.
Crude prices steadied in midday trading Tuesday, as hopes mounted that Saudi Arabian promises to increase oil production would be implemented.
The price of benchmark Brent crude for August delivery slipped three cents to 28.82 dollars a barrel.
In New York late Monday, light sweet crude for August delivery closed 59 cents lower at 29.69 dollars a barrel.
A week ago, oil prices saw their first significant falls for weeks after the world's leading producer Saudi Arabia said that -- together with fellow members of OPEC -- it would produce an extra 500,000 barrels per day if needed to calm the market.
Kuwait, which has around 10 percent of the world's proven oil reserves, saw its output quota increased from 1.98 to 2.037 million bpd at OPEC's June 21 meeting in Vienna.
© 2000 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)