Use of US oil reserves may not affect market
Kuwait's Oil Minister Sheikh Saud Nasser al-Sabah has said there is enough crude on the oil markets and the use of the US Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) may have no impact on prices.
"The use of SPR is an American concern. Even if the SPR is used, there is already plenty of crude in the world. The problem is not crude. It is oil products," Sheikh Saud told reporters Friday on his return from the meeting of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries in Vienna.
He repeated his assertion that high taxes on fuel in Europe are the cause of the soaring gasoline prices.
"Taxes in Europe are too high. Consumers are convinced now that OPEC is not responsible for the price hike, but taxes are. I hope they review tax rates in the interest of consumers," he added. The minister said he expected oil prices to remain stable around 31 dollars a barrel, mainly due to a rise in winter demands.
"The latest OPEC decision is the right one.
It was taken unanimously and I believe it should preserve the balance in the market. The 800,000 barrels is the quantity the market needs. Prices will remain around 31 dollars a barrel," he said.
Oil prices closed at 35.92 dollars a barrel in New York on Friday as tension between Iraq and Kuwait threatened oil supplies this winter and the threat of a hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico raised fresh supply-side concerns.
OPEC last Sunday agreed to hike output by 800,000 bpd, but Sheikh Saud warned that all the cartel's members, with the exception of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, have no more output capacity.—AFP.
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© 2000 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)