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Sunday, December 6, 2009

Oil prices stable and perfect says Saudi

CAIRO: Top oil exporter Saudi Arabia yesterday described the current oil price as stable and "perfect" for consuming and producing nations as he led talks in Cairo with other Arab oil ministers.

With oil around $75 a barrel, ministers said there was no need for the Opec to change its output targets when it met in Angola later this month.

"Everything is very good now," Saudi Arabia's Oil Minister Ali Al Naimi said at a meeting of the Organisation of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries (OAPEC).

"Inventories are coming down, the price is perfect and investors, consumers, producers are all very happy," he added. "There is nothing to worry about." Kuwaiti Oil Minister Shaikh Ahmad Abdullah Al Sabah echoed him. "There will be no increase in production whatsoever," he said, adding he believes there is a consensus among all Opec members to maintain status quo.

Opec cut 4.2 million barrels per day of its production quotas in December, bringing down the total output of the 12-member group - excluding Iraq - to 24.84m bpd.

It took the measure to support flagging oil prices, which slumped from historical highs above $147 a barrel in July last year to just above $30 after a sharp decline in demand due to the global financial crisis.

Oil prices have rebounded strongly over the past months and are currently ranging between $70 and $80 a barrel. In October, prices jumped above $80 a barrel before easing.

Libyan Oil Minister Shukri Ghanem said there are no objections among Opec members to a production rollover in Angola.

"I don't think there are objections," to maintaining output quotas, he said.

Qatar's Energy Minister Abdullah Al Attiyah also said Opec will roll over current production levels but will monitor the market next year.

"I believe the decision will be to maintain the current production levels and then wait until 2010," to assess the situation.

A conference of the 12 Opec members on December 22 in Luanda will wrestle with the task of balancing oversupply against the risk any rise in oil demand could drive up prices and derail the world economy.

Source : Gulf Daily News

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