Emirati Oil Minister Obeid bin Saif al-Nassiri urged oil producing countries Wednesday to cut output to guarantee market stability.
"The big dip in crude prices necessitates the intervention of oil producing countries within OPEC and outside the cartel so the oil market can regain its stability," Nassiri said, quoted by the official WAM news agency.
"The United Arab Emirates, as an oil producing OPEC member, will cooperate with other producers to guarantee the stability of prices and avoid any price fluctuation," he said.
The price of oil continued to firm in London on Wednesday amid mounting expectations that the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) will slow down its pumps when it meets later in the month.
Benchmark Brent North Sea crude for February delivery was being traded at $24.63 a barrel Wednesday, while in New York, the reference light sweet crude February contract closed up 41 cents at $27.21 a barrel overnight.
Nassiri, whose country has an OPEC output quota of 2.33 million barrels per day (bpd), said "$25 a barrel is a reasonable price that would not harm the world economy".
On US pressure on OPEC to cut production, the minister said: "Each country acts in its own interests ... and we, as producers, can serve our interests without harming those of consumers."
Kuwait's Oil Minister Saud Nasser al-Sabah said earlier Wednesday that oil producers are likely to cut output by two million bpd in an effort to strengthen prices.
Ahead of OPEC's next meeting in Vienna on January 17, Saudi Arabia has also called for the cartel's oil production to be slashed by between 1.5 million to two million bpd.
Prices have tumbled in recent weeks as market concerns that the market would dry up over the northern hemisphere winter evaporated amid signs of building stocks.
But the price slump has left the oil-exporting OPEC club anxious to avoid a price collapse when winter thaws in the major consumer nations.—AFP.
©--Agence France Presse.
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )