Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Nuaimi told AFP Saturday that other OPEC members support a proposal for boosting oil production by more than 500,000 barrels day, although he declined to say which countries.
The minister, the 11-member cartel's heavyweight, added that more than 500,000 barrels extra was being demanded by the world oil market, but he did not specify how much more.
"The answer is yes," he told AFP in an interview when asked whether he had received support from other OPEC delegations in Vienna for a crucial meeting Sunday of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).
"Does the the market want more than 500,000? The answer is yes," he said.
The OPEC member states appear set to agree on an increase Sunday, but the question is by how much. The cartel agreed a price-band mechanism in March under which it would add 500,000 barrels if prices remained out of a range of 22-28 dollars for more than 20 days.
The minister, whose country is the only OPEC member with substantial extra capacity, also sought to play down fears by other smaller OPEC members that a big increase in production could only benefit Saudi Arabia, and not them.
"OPEC is looking after the interests of all its s members, not some," he said. "If there is an agreement to increase by X amount, everybody will get their share. Whether it can be produced or not is something else."
"The idea that some have and don't have will not prevent OPEC from making the right decision," he said.—AFP.
©Agence France Presse.
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