OPEC: The issue is not 'supply but is related to fears'

Thursday, September 16, 2004

LONDON OPEC has sought to calm the global market for crude oil while playing down expectations of another production increase.

OPEC oil ministers, who began their session on Wednesday in Vienna, said they did not expect the organization to approve a significant increase in the quota of the 10 member states, Middle East Newsline reported. They said that with the exception of Saudi Arabia, OPEC members were producing at maximum capacity. Saudi Arabia said it would oppose any decision to increase its current output of 9.5 million barrels of oil per day.

"When we talk about capacity, I believe that they are producing the maximum," Qatari Oil Minister Abdullah Bin Hamad Al Attiyah said. "The quotas are not an issue. Everybody knows today the high price is not related to demand and supply, but is related to fears."

Oil ministers said OPEC was preparing to obtain a study on the price of crude oil, which at one point last month reached nearly $50 per barrel. They said OPEC planned to increase the price band of oil to about $30 a barrel.

Copyright 2004 East West Services, Inc.

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