First Published: 2005-02-22

 
OPEC president sees no need for output cut now
 

Sheikh Ahmad says OPEC ceiling will be maintained if oil prices rise this week.

 

Middle East Online

By Omar Hasan - KUWAIT CITY

Oversupply will go for new demand

OPEC president and Kuwait's Energy Minister Sheikh Ahmad Fahd al-Sabah said Tuesday there was no need for the oil cartel to cut output at present, but that the market must be monitored carefully.

"Until now, we don't have to cut. Until now, the price is very high and we have to respect this price and cooperate with others for the stability of the market," the minister told reporters in parliament.

Oil prices rose this week, supported by fears that OPEC could cut production at a meeting in Iran next month.

Asked if he supported the idea of a production cut at the meeting in Isfahan on March 16, Sheikh Ahmad said that if prices remain at the current level, the same OPEC ceiling will be maintained.

"All signals show that there will be a good demand in the second quarter ... With the prices now, I don't think there is a reason we will cut," he said.

"If the demand will continue in the second quarter, especially from China and other Asian countries, then we don't have to cut because the oversupply will go for new demand. It will not go to build the stocks," which could go above the average, he said.

"With the prices high, the geopolitical problems and the average stocks until now, I think we are keeping the same ceiling" of 27 million barrels per day (bpd) adopted at an OPEC meeting on December 10, he added.

The 11-member cartel decided at its last meeting in Vienna on January 30 to maintain output levels at 27 million bpd but hinted that high prices for crude were here to stay and that it may cut output soon.

World oil prices soared on Tuesday, supported by colder temperatures hitting the US northeast and Europe, dealers said.

New York's main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in March, surged 1.21 dollars to 49.56 dollars a barrel in electronic dealing.

Trading in the contract had been closed Monday due to a public holiday in the United States.

In London, the price of Brent North Sea crude oil for delivery in April gained 60 cents to 47.33 dollars a barrel.

Analysts noted that prices were supported also by the prospect of a possible output cut by OPEC next month.

"Speculation that OPEC may cut output at its next meeting have put a floor under" prices, analysts from the Sucden brokerage firm said.

 

US criticizes 1915 massacres in Armenia

Iran, major powers were set to review adherence to nuclear deal

Yemen’s ‘march for bread’ protestors end week-long march

Netanyahu threatens to cancel talks with German FM over NGO meetings

LafargeHolcim CEO stepping down over Syria probe

Khamenei urges Iran candidates to focus on home

UN chief urges donors to prevent Yemen famine

Turkish warplanes pound Kurdish forces in Iraq, Syria

Jailed British-Iranian sees final appeal rejected in Tehran

Iran election may be pointer to race for supreme leader

US-backed forces enter key IS-held Syria town Tabqa

Israel probe clears officer who shot teen attackers

Syria ‘ready’ to halt fire for chemical attack probe

Israel charges teenager for bomb threats against Jewish institutions

Egypt sentences 20 to death over 2013 police killings

Erdogan accuses researcher of 'inciting assassination'

Qatar Airways CEO accuses US carriers of ‘bullying’

At least 15 migrants drown near Lesbos

Former employees work to salvage Mosul University

Jordan wary about jihadists wishing to return home

US fires opening shots in confrontation with Iran

Mattis sees Saudi Arabia ‘helping across the region’

Sirens, silence as Israel remembers Holocaust

Houthis intensify crackdown on dissent in Yemen

Italian reporter released in Turkey

Algiers summons Morocco envoy over Syrian migrant row

Macron, Le Pen gird for final French election duel

Iran reverses decision to ban live presidential debates

Six Israelis including two soldiers held for anti-Arab attacks

Economists, rights advocates concerned over Egypt’s state of emergency

US Defense Secretary Mattis visits strategic Djibouti

Qatari hunters ecstatic at release from Iraqi kidnappers

Prosecutor says charities colluding with migrant traffickers

France votes under heavy security

Iran's historically unpredictable elections

Israel kills three in attack on pro-regime Syria camp

Iran's Ahmadinejad won't endorse other candidates

Rocky days ahead after Turkey referendum

Huge Shiite crowd throngs Baghdad shrine

Rabat accuses Algiers of expelling 55 migrants across border

Morocco, US take part in joint military exercise

US defence secretary visits key ally Qatar

Lebanese activists ramp up campaign against rape law

Saudis among kidnapped hunters freed in Iraq

Trial in Tunisia beach massacre set to begin April 26