Kuwaiti Minister Says Cutting Oil Output only Way to Halt Slide in Prices

Published December 19th, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

Kuwaiti Oil Minister Sheikh Saud Nasser al-Sabah said Tuesday that reducing oil production was the only way to mop up the market's oil surplus and halt the slide in prices. 

"There is an oil surplus on the market, and there is no other way of mopping up this surplus, which is largely responsible for the fall of crude prices", Sheikh Saud was quoted as saying by the official KUNA agency. 

He added that crude prices will fluctuate during the first half of 2001, and that the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries would examine the situation at its meeting in Vienna on January 17. 

On January 10, Sheikh Saud forecast a likely cut from January. 

"It is almost certain that an agreement on a reduction in production will be reached during the meeting," he said. 

"About one million barrels a day will be taken away if it is necessary, especially with the coming of spring and summer, which bring a reduction in consumption levels and the worldwide demand for oil," Sheikh Saud said. 

The oil price fell below 26 dollars a barrel in London Tuesday, as forecasts of a cold Christmas in much of the United States were overshadowed by mounting concerns of an OPEC production cut in the New Year. 

Benchmark Brent North Sea crude for delivery in February eased to 25.81 dollars a barrel in early deals, from 26.24 dollars at the close on Monday. 

In New York, the reference light sweet crude January contract was selling for 29.47 dollars a barrel, from 29.76 dollars at the close on Monday -- KUWAIT CITY (AFP)  



© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)

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