Kuwait: OPEC can Pump 300,000 Barrels more if Needed

Published June 24th, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

Kuwait's oil minister, Sheikh Saud Nasser Sabah, said Saturday that OPEC could pump an additional 300,000 barrels per day (bpd) if needed by the market. 

"Oil prices will not decline as a result of OPEC's decision" in Vienna on Wednesday to increase production by 708,000 bpd, Sheikh Saud said, quoted in Arab Times newspaper. 

"Prices won't be affected also by a proposed additional hike of 300,000 barrels per day, to be approved if the market needed it," he added, without elaborating in what context the additional increase could be decided. 

But OPEC is scheduled to meet again in Vienna on September 10th. 

An increase in demand from southeast Asian nations, expected to continue for several years, will soak up any rise in crude production and prevent a collapse in prices, Sheikh Saud predicted. 

"In this case, I do not expect the oil market to collapse in the near future. There are no signs in the foreseeable future to indicate a collapse in oil prices," he said. 

Sheikh Saud reiterated that Western governments, and not OPEC, were to blame for the increase in fuel prices because "European governments and the US impose taxes as high as 70 percent on oil products." 

Crude prices bounced back after OPEC producers agreed to the modest increase in supply and dismissed a price-band mechanism that had been drafted earlier this year. 

In London, the price of benchmark Brent crude on Friday rose back above the 30-dollar mark, and in New York the cost of light sweet crude climbed back above 32 dollars a barrel. 

Analysts said OPEC's modest output rise would do little to soothe demand - KUWAIT CITY (AFP) 




© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)

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