OPEC set to agree on 1.5 million bpd cut

Published January 17th, 2001 - 02:00 GMT

OPEC oil ministers agreed Tuesday on a production cut to help boost slumping prices, the cartel's secretary general said, while one minister said most were agreed on a 1.5 million barrels per day reduction. 

 

"Most ministers are agreed on that figure," said Qatari Oil Minister Abdullah al Attiyah ahead of Wednesday's meeting of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) oil-producing cartel. 

 

Pressed on whether the cut could be larger, as suggested by other OPEC officials, he told reporters: "All scenarios are open. We will see in the discussions tomorrow." 

 

He was speaking after Ali Rodriguez, the secretary general of the Vienna-based organization, said an accord had already been reached on the size of the production cut. "There is an agreement. But the figure will be published tomorrow," he said. 

 

Market analysts have widely forecast a 1.5 million bpd cut, but signs emerged just before Wednesday's meeting that it could be deeper, bowing to pressure from some OPEC hawks. 

 

Earlier OPEC President Chakib Khelil, Algeria's oil minister said that the cut is expected to be between 1.5 and 2.0 million bpd. 

 

Outgoing OPEC Secretary General Rilwanu Lukman also said Tuesday that the cut would be "between 1.5 and 2.0 million barrels.""It will be all agreed tomorrow," Khelil told reporters. 

 

The OPEC ministers are due to hold an informal meeting in a Vienna hotel during the day, before their formal session at OPEC headquarters to approve the move, Khelil said.—AFP. 

©--Agence France Presse. 

 

© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)

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