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.

 

Iraq launches operation to clear last IS holdouts from desert

Divided Syria opposition meets in Riyadh

Lebanon’s Hariri suspends resignation

Revolt in US State Department over child soldier law

Outrage in Iraq over 'child marriage' bill

IS propaganda channels fall quiet in 'unprecedented' hiatus

Kremlin to create Syria congress despite Turkey ‘reservations’

Netanyahu berates deputy minister for 'offensive' remarks on US Jews

Egypt PM heads to Germany for medical treatment

Egypt destroys 10 SUVs carrying arms on Libya border

Saudi-led coalition to reopen Yemen airport, port to aid

Turkey court rules to keep Amnesty chief in jail

France calls for UN meeting on Libya slave-trading

Egypt detains 29 for allegedly spying for Turkey

WTO panel to hear Qatar’s complaint against UAE blockade

Three dead as diphtheria spreads in Yemen

Israel seizes explosive material at Gaza border

Activists call for release of UK journalist held by IS

Bahrain upholds jail sentence for activist

Iraq attacks at lowest since 2014

Turkey continues crackdown in post-coup probe

Hariri back in Lebanon

Putin to hold Syria peace talks with Erdogan, Rouhani

US carries out air strikes against IS in Libya

Lebanon's Hariri in Egypt ahead of return home

Rebels say Sanaa airport 'ready to run' after coalition bombing

Greece to amend historic sharia law for Muslim minority

Turkey to ask Germany to extradite top coup suspect

Car bomb in northern Iraq kills at least 24

Morocco bans bitcoin transactions

13 million Syrians need aid despite relative drop in violence

Sudan urged to improve plight of Darfur's displaced people

Brain drain means Syria can’t recover for a generation

Palestinians close communication lines with Americans

Anti-IS coalition strikes drop to lowest number

German police arrest six Syrians ‘planning terror attack’

Palestinian factions in Cairo for reconciliation talks

Turkish opposition daily web editor sentenced to 3 years in jail

Israeli police arrest 33 in ultra-Orthodox draft riots

Turkish lira at new low against US dollar

Islamic republic declares end of Islamic State

Assad in Russia for talks with Putin

UN chief horrified by Libya slave auctions

Qatar 2022 chief has no regrets over hosting World Cup

Gheit says Lebanon should be 'spared' from regional tensions