Arab oil ministers said Saturday they were happy at the rise in oil prices at a meeting of the Organisation of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries (OAPEC).
The United Arab Emirates' Oil Minister Obeid Saif al-Nassiri, who chaired the meeting, the OAPEC's 65th, cheered the fact that oil prices have kept above $28 per barrel on the international market.
"The favorable pricing has also been accompanied by an increase in production of nearly four million barrels per day since the beginning of November," said Nassiri at the opening of the meeting. Oil prices have flown as high as $35 per barrel in recent weeks.
The OAPEC, which is headquartered in Kuwait, includes ten Arab oil-producing countries: Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria and the United Arab Emirates.
"The role of OAPEC is to create better coordination, establish joint-companies, and develop training programs and exchanges of experts among member states," said Abdallah bin Hamad al-Atteya, Qatar's energy minister.
Atteya said that he expected the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to lower oil production at its next meeting scheduled for January 17.
Explaining the reasons for cutting oil production, Atteya said, "We do not want to repeat the scenario from 1998 when the price of oil fell to less than ten dollars per barrel."
Saudi Oil Minister Ali bin Ibrahim al-Noemi expressed the same sentiment. "If we decide that a rise or drop in production is necessary, we do it because our goal is to guard the stability of the international market," he said.
The OAPEC ministers also reviewed a proposal from Egypt to put in place mechanisms for an Arab specialist to coordinate the production of natural gas and its ancillary industries among Arab countries."—AFP.
©--Agence France Presse.
© 2000 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )