OPEC will cut output by at least 500,000 barrels per day, said Venezuelan Oil Minister Alvaro Silva. That figure is "a minimum".
A cut of between 500,000 and 1 mln barrels per day has been discussed by the cartel but no specific level agreed, he told journalists on its arrival in Vienna on Wednesday .
OPEC oil ministers are expected to cut output by between
500,000 and maximum of 1.5 mln barrels per day on Friday during OPEC's meeting in Vienna, in an effort to avert a slump in prices as spring arrives, analysts said.
OPEC has already cut production by 1.5 mln bpd this year in order to boost prices which have fallen from highs above 35 usd/barrel last autumn.
As reported previously Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Nuaimi , speaking in Riyadh on Monday, said OPEC will decide on a production cut which will maintain the price of crude oil at its targeted level of 25 usd/barrel, while Kuwait, Iran and Indonesia have also expressed their support for a cut and Qatar has predicted such a move on Friday.
According to news agencies, Simon Williams, oil expert at the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) in London, predicted a cut of at least 500,000 bpd, but said that OPEC
members will probably be "reasonably prudent," particularly Saudi Arabia.
"It's fairly clear that there are cuts in the offing," said Simon Williams, oil expert at the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) in London, adding that Saudi Arabia and some of the other Gulf states are "nervous about the way the oil market is looking at the moment." news agencies reported.
"What they can't do is risk damaging medium-term demand by being greedy in the short-term," he said. Leo Drollas, an expert at the London-based Center for Global Energy Studies who expects a production cut of between 500,000 and 1 mln bpd, said that a cut will not be necessary to maintain prices at around current levels, another news agency reported.
"It's really not needed to cut oil output, because prices are at reasonable levels and stock-cover is tight, so all you're going to do is to exacerbate the situation and possibly repeat a gasoline squeeze in the summer in the U.S.," Drollas said, according to a news agency.
OPEC oil ministers began arriving in Vienna today ahead of Friday's meeting.
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)