OPEC to decide output cut at January 17 meeting
The oil-producing group OPEC will reduce output to offset lower prices when its ministers meet in Vienna on January 17, Algerian Energy Minister Chakib Khelil, current OPEC president, said here on Sunday.
"It is sure that the January 17 conference will decide a reduction of OPEC production," Khelil said in an interview published by the Algerian daily L'Expression.
Khelil took over presidency of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) this month from Venezuelan counterpart Ali Rodriguez, who became the group's secretary-general.
"It is a question of level," Khelil said. "We may also decide to hold an extraordinary meeting before the next scheduled conference in March."
Rodriguez said on Thursday that consensus had been reached on the need for a production cut if oil prices remained below $22 a barrel over the next 10 working days, under the terms of a price-band mechanism agreed by OPEC last year.
Khelil told L'Expression there was a "broad consensus now among OPEC members and certain non-OPEC producers to support a production reduction of between one and three million barrels per day (bpd)."
"OPEC's objectives for this year are a stabilisation of the market around $25 per barrel, and maintaining a consensus among the different OPEC members and other producers which are observers such as Norway, Russia, Mexico, Oman, and Angola."
Khelil said the group sought "reinforced dialogue and coordination with consumer countries," especially smaller states in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. The organisation also intends to "develop a real communication strategy, something which has always been lacking."
"Few people know what is accomplished by OPEC's aid fund in terms of financing small projects in developing countries," he said.—AFP.
©--Agence France Presse.
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)