OPEC faces crude price war unless rivals join output cut: Qatar
Qatar warned on Tuesday, November 13 that a "disastrous" oil price war could erupt unless rivals of OPEC join the 11-nation organization in a coordinated cut in production.
Qatari Oil Minister Abdullah Al-Attiyah told reporters that a reduction in output from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) would be "useless" unless big producers such as Mexico, Norway and Russia followed suit.
So far none of the big three non-OPEC producers have offered anything other than token cutbacks. "I am ready to support any cut but I am afraid a cut without them (non-OPEC) would not help and would be useless," Al-Attiyah told reporters here on the eve of an OPEC meeting.
"I am frightened they will push us into a price war which will be disastrous for everyone," he said. "I am very uncomfortable if OPEC will cut production and then non-OPEC will increase production and then we will end up with no effect from our decision."
Al-Attiyah recalled the situation in 1998, when OPEC and non-OPEC countries failed to coordinate supply at a time when demand for crude collapsed in the wake of the Asian financial crisis. The result was $10 oil and teetering budgets in many major oil exporting countries.
"I am very disappointed," Al-Attiyah said in response to initiatives thus far from non-OPEC, which amount to a paltry 30,000-barrel cutback offered by Russia. "I believe that major non-OPEC should have very strong memories for what happened in 1998." — (AFP, Vienna)
© Agence France Presse 2001
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)