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French Version

OPEC president says production cut unlikely

OPEC could avoid lowering its production quota this year if crude prices remain at their current level, the cartel's president Edmund Daukoru said here Friday. "If prices remain at this level, I don't see a cut," he said during an oil conference.

Asked what the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries could do to prevent prices from shooting up over $70 a barrel, he said: "We do know how to do best and that is to build new production capacities."

Qatar's energy minister, Abdallah bin Hamed al-Attiyah, predicted that OPEC ministers at their next meeting in Caracas on June 1 will take no major decisions affecting quotas and prices.

OPEC at the moment is producing at "almost maximum" levels, he said. "Oil is flooding in the market."

The cartel's interim secretary general, Mohammad Barkindo, stressed that the oil market was well-supplied despite high crude prices, which at close to $68 are approaching records - $70.85 - set in New York last September.

Daukoru also said OPEC officials would confer informally during an international energy forum in Doha, Qatar taking place between April 21 and 25.

But he said the encounter would not constitute an official OPEC meeting and would instead be an informal gathering of officials from member countries attending the forum.

Beirut,04 10 2006
The Daily Star
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