OPEC Will Most Likely Hold Output At Current Levels
Wednesday, September 18, 2002
The majority of OPEC members feel there is no need to increase output at the Thursday meeting. The Qatari oil minister and several of his counterparts feel that there is no need to alter the output ceiling "So far what I felt from my colleagues is that we are agreed that OPEC has no reason to change production because we believe the market is oversupplied," Qatari Oil Minister Abdullah al-Attiyah said. "We feel we are on common ground," he said after emerging from a meeting with Venezuelan Minister of Energy and Mines Rafael Ramirez and Nigeria's Presidential Adviser on Petroleum and OPEC President Rilwanu Lukman. Kuwait's acting Oil Minister Sheikh Ahmad al-Fahd al-Sabah said on Wednesday he thought that the majority of OPEC members supported keeping output unchanged at their Thursday meeting. "We think more than the majority are willing to ask the other colleagues to continue in the fourth quarter with the same strategy," the minister said. "We are working to keep the same situation for the last quarter." But Attiyah said this was view was not yet a consensus among all OPEC ministers. "I am not speaking for the majority," he said. Saudi oil minister Ali Naimi arrived in Osaka earlier Wednesday, but made no comment on his country's position. Despite the silence from Saudi Arabia, OPEC's largest oil producer, other cartel members have publicly stated similar views to Qatar's Attiyah. Indonesian oil minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro said on arrival in Osaka that he believed there was "enough crude on the market," AFP reported. His counterparts from Kuwait and the UAE, speaking before they left the Gulf to head for Japan, both said they saw no need for OPEC to increase production. Venezuela has also said in the run-up to the Osaka meeting that it believes there is no shortage of oil on the market, and that OPEC should leave quotas unchanged for the time being.