OPEC will likely cut oil output by around 1.5 million barrels per day at a Vienna meeting this week in order to steady the market, the oil minister of the cartel's most powerful member, Saudi Arabia, said Monday.
Arriving at a meeting of ministers from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) late on Monday, Riyadh's Ali al-Nuaimi told reporters: "The size of the reduction will probably be around a million and a half" barrels per day.
"We are here to steady the market," al-Nauimi said. "We want the market to be in a stable mode. Therefore we need to take a reduction."
Other OPEC ministers have called for cuts of 1.5 million barrels a day -- equivalent to more than five percent of the grouping's output -- though some hawkish countries want even deeper cuts to rescue prices.
After skyrocketing to above $35 a barrel last autumn amid a perceived supply crunch, prices fell dramatically in December, and OPEC countries want to ensure they do not fall further. In London on Monday crude futures rose slightly to $26.16 a barrel.
"Hopefully we will avoid a precipitous fall in the price or a precipitous rise in the price and that is what we are really trying to do," al-Nauimi said. – (AFP, Vienna)
© Agence France Presse 2001
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )