Al-Naimi: Maybe There Is Need For Higher Oil Output

VIENNA - Saudi Arabian Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi said Monday there might be a need for higher oil production above OPEC's current ceiling, and the kingdom will continue to meet its customers' demand.

"I said maybe... When customers...say 'we want oil', what do you do, we give it to them," Mr. Naimi told reporters in Vienna in response to questions about some of his remarks published earlier Monday.

"Our business is to respond to customers' requests...and remember customers go to best services available."

Gulf Oil Review quoted Mr. Naimi as saying Monday that the kingdom's analysis of the current market situation suggests the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries needs a higher production ceiling. Mr. Naimi also told the publication that Saudi Arabia remains ready to take action to ensure markets are supplied, whatever the reasons.

However, the Gulf state "will wait until we hear the presentation from the (OPEC) Secretariat concerning the outlook for the international oil market, and the views of other member countries," Mr. Naimi was quoted as saying.

Citing a current oversupply of oil, some delegates from other OPEC countries have contested the need for higher output.


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