OPEC could further cut output to boost oil prices

Published April 5th, 2001 - 02:00 GMT

The Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) may introduce further cuts to bolster crude prices weakened by low demand, Kuwait's Oil Minister Adel al-Sebeih said Thursday. 


"Further output cuts are expected if oil prices continued to decline," Sebeih told Al-Rai Al-Aam newspaper just days after the 11-member cartel implemented a production cut of one million barrels to stabilise prices. 


Sebeih declined, however, to give a figure for any possible new cut or say if OPEC would merely activate its price band mechanism which stipulates an automatic output reduction if prices fall below $22 a barrel. 


OPEC agreed last month to reduce output by one million barrels per day (bpd) from April 1 in a bid to stave off a slump in prices going into the northern hemisphere summer. 


OPEC secretary general Ali Rodriguez has also warned that the cartel may tighten the taps further in its quest to target a basket price of $25. 


The basket price of seven world crudes which OPEC uses to guide production policy stood at $22.96 a barrel on Tuesday. 


Kuwait's output quota was reduced from 2.021 million bpd to 1.941 million bpd on April 1. The latest report by National Bank of Kuwait (NBK), the largest bank in the oil-rich emirate, released Wednesday, said the price of the Kuwait export crude averaged $22.5 a barrel in March.—AFP. 

©--Agence France Presse 2001. 

© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)

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