Qatar's Oil Minister Abdullah bin Hamad al-Attiya on Monday urged the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to cut production by at least two million barrels per day (bpd) when it meets in Vienna January 17.
Quoted by the official QNA agency, Attiya said a cut "of at least two million bpd" was needed in time for the arrival of spring.
"Demand for oil traditionally falls every year from April 1. It is certain that the cut this year will reach two million bpd," Attiya said.
The price of a barrel of Brent North Sea crude rose Monday to $25.58 a barrel, boosted by calls for sharp output cuts from OPEC members.
OPEC ministers are due meet in Vienna next week to consider their next move following the recent slump in crude prices. A production cutback of between one and 1.5 million barrels a day is considered the most likely outcome by market watchers.
But Attiya insisted that "the production cut required must not be less than two million bpd. A larger reduction will be more useful so prices remain in the OPEC price band mechanism of $22-28 a barrel agreed in March."
According to the Qatari minister, whose country has an OPEC quota of 691,800 bpd, the decision to cut production will be taken "quickly".
"It will be difficult to keep up the price and stop an increase in consumer stock levels if the decision is taken slowly," he warned.—AFP.
©--Agence France Presse.
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )