Producers salute western support for oil price band

Published November 20th, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

US support for a reasonable oil price is "very positive", Qatar's Oil Minister Abdullah Hamad al-Attiyah said Sunday, the final day of a major forum between producers and consumers. 

 

US Energy Secretary Bill Richardson called Saturday for oil at $20-25 a barrel after months of record high prices.And France's Industry Minister Christian Pierret, whose country holds the rotating Europen Union presidency, said $25 was a "reasonable" price. 

 

"It's the first time we hear a major consumer talking about prices," Attiyah noted, referring to the west's traditional demand to let the markets decide. 

 

"It is very positive. Consumers are putting something on the table," he said at the International Energy Forum in the capital of Saudi Arabia, the world's biggest producer and export. 

 

The producer-consumer dialogue had taken place in a "very good atmosphere" and an understanding was being built, he added. 

 

Attiyah said a range of $25-28 a barrel would enable greater investment in producing nations and thereby better supplies. 

 

However he added that the problem remained "how to create a mechanism" for oil to move within an agreed price band. 

 

Pierret had noted that $25 a barrel would "encourage companies to invest in creating the production capacity required," and "not block the road to economic development by the emerging countries." 

 

Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Nuaimi urged ahead of the three-day forum for consumers and producers to agree a price band, but delegates said it would not be possible during the meeting.—AFP. 

©--Agence France Presse. 

 

© 2000 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)

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