Qatari Oil Minister Abdullah al-Attiyah said Wednesday OPEC would listen carefully to consumers in a bid to stabilize markets, but said the oil cartel was not to blame for high prices.
"We will listen very carefully to what consumers want and how both of us can stabilize markets," he said adding that the dialogue would be held during a meeting of OPEC and leading consumer states in Riyadh on November 17.
But he suggested there was only so much OPEC could do to hold prices down. "We believe price is not fixed by OPEC, there is a market force," he told journalists on the sidelines of a summit of the oil-producing cartel in Caracas.
"OPEC is trying its very best to supply the market, but there are technical problems we cannot solve," he said."We are working very hard to stabilize markets, but you cannot blame OPEC for higher prices when you have high tax," he said, citing the example of France, "which sells gas at eight Francs, and six Francs is tax."
He said the two-day summit would strenghten OPEC, which last held such a gathering of presidents and sovereigns 25 years ago.He said Venezuelan President Hugo "Chavez has created a very good way for more understanding. I believe it is a very strong step."
He spoke after the conclusion of a ministerial meeting that approved a final declaration the heads of state were expected to adopt at the end of the summit on Thursday.—AFP.
©--Agence France Presse.