OPEC president Ali Rodriguez, set to be the group's next secretary general, said Sunday he expected crude oil prices to fall by the end of June next year.
"I have no doubt that prices will fall in the second quarter," he told a group of reporters in Vienna for an OPEC meeting.
"There is currently excess supply of 1.4 million barrels (a day). I don't think there is an oil crisis right now," Rodriguez said.
Ministers of the 11-nation Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries are reluctant to increase ouput because of fears that a crude oil glut could collapse prices next year.
While making no decisions now, OPEC ministers Sunday said they would hold a special meeting January 17 to assess demand in the winter, critical to any decision about whether crude oil output should be cut.
Rodriguez is to succeed secretary general Rilwanu Lukman on January 1, Qatar oil minister Abdullah al-Attiyah told journalists on the sidelines of the OPEC talks.
Lukman, a Nigerian official, retires at the end of the year after five years at the helm. Algeria would take the post of OPEC president after it had been vacated by Rodriguez, said a Venezuelan official.—AFP.
©--Agence France Presse.
© 2000 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)